Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Penguin haven plea

A little blue penguin nests at Caroline Bay in Timaru. Putting penguins first should be considered when publicising Timaru as a penguin haven, the Department of Conservation (DOC) says.

Penguin support group co-ordinator Peter Bennett said it had been a good year for penguin conservation. Last year 42 little blue penguins were recorded around the port, while a count last week located 90. "Where we have got to now is amazing. We should totally promote Timaru as a place where you can see little blue penguins. We do have a website and brochures and Timaru District Council has been really good about promoting the penguins. We have taken one more step than we did six months ago."

Bennett said the group was already planning on getting more schools involved next year to promote the penguins. So far the group had distributed promotional material to motor camps and information centres in Timaru, Geraldine and Temuka, as well as a restaurant in Timaru.

However, Department of Conservation partnership ranger George Iles is not as enthusiastic about promoting Timaru as a penguin haven. "From the department's point of view our main concern would be the conservation of penguins. The publicity should ideally enhance their habitat and survival."


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