Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Foundation launches crowd funding page to raise money for high-tech fox-deterring equipment

September 8, 2015
Penguins roosting in their boxes at Collins Beach, Manly. Picture: Martin Lange.
It was a mission that required a night watch, shooters and infra-red cameras.
Penguin protectors are asking the community to dig deep to fox-proof our beaches.
The foundation for National Parks and Wildlife has launched a Chuffed crowd-funding campaign to raise money for new fox-deterring technology.
The call comes as 27 little penguins were wiped out in just 11 days in June this year by a thrill-killing fox.
Foundation chief ­executive Susanna Bradshaw said the little penguins held a special place in the heart of the Manly community. “We’re so lucky to have penguins nesting right on our doorstep,” she said.
The penguin wardens Bev Prior and Murray Sharp guarding the penguins against attacks by a thrill-killing fox at Collins Beach, Manly.
“I’d hate to think that in the future there might be no more little penguins left.”
The foundation is hoping to raise $20,000 which will go towards installing 20 motion-sensing cameras, a thermal camera to detect the body heat of predators and fox deterrents that emit bright flashing lights.
The funds will also go to more nesting boxes to help the penguins rebuild their population.
Ms Bradshaw said Manly was home to the last breeding colony.
The fox spotted at North Head. Picture: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.
“The little penguins at Manly are the last breeding colony on the New South Wales mainland. I am calling on Manly residents to get behind this campaign.
“Donate today to help protect our little penguins.”
After the tragic penguin killings earlier this year, a military-like operation was put in place with parks staff and volunteers spending every night standing guard at various locations.
Since 1990, the number of little penguins has increased, with at least 134 birds recorded last year.
The little penguins’ breeding season general runs from June to February and is vital for their survival.
Donations can be made at www.chuffed.org/project/manly-little-penguins

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