Associate Minister of Conservation
18 September 2015 Media Statement
Support for world’s smallest penguin
The Blue Penguin – the world’s smallest – is one of several West Coast seabirds that will receive support as part of the Community Conservation Partnership Fund’s support for West Coast conservation projects, says Associate Conservation Minister Nicky Wagner.
“The $98,000 investment will help the West Coast Penguin Trust conduct research and carry out practical projects to protect blue penguins and other West Coast seabirds,” Ms Wagner says.
“As well as the Blue Penguin, the investment will help to conserve the Fiordland crested penguins and other threatened seabirds and habitat on the West Coast.
“Projects include roadside fences to protect penguins from traffic, GPS logging of penguin feeding expeditions, education programmes, and studying seabirds and predator species in new locations for potential pest eradication and habitat restoration.”
Blue penguins are the world’s smallest breed of penguin, growing to about 30 cm tall and weighing about one kilogram.
“Whio conservation in the Buller District will receive a $104,000 investment in the Mokihinui Biodiversity Enhancement Project.
“The project will control stoat and other pest populations to help support recovery of whio population and establish the South Island’s 11th Whio Recovery Site.
“The Kawatiri River Trail Boardwalks, north of Westport, will also be completed. The $80,000 CCPF investment will open this valuable conservation area to more people while improving flora and fauna by undertaking planting projects.
“The Paparoa Wildlife Trust will also receive $37,000 to help maintain 650 predator control traps across the 3617 ha ‘Roaring Meg’ ecological area.
“The Okarito Community Nursery will receive $33,000, helping the Nursery to continue to provide native seedlings for restoration sites and riparian management on local farms.
“Together, these projects will be a welcome boost for conservation on the West Coast,” Ms Wagner says.
West Coast Community Conservation Partnership Forum projects:
• West Coast Penguin Trust: $98,000
• Mokihinui Biodiversity Enhancement Project: $104,000
• Buller Cycling Club: $80,000
• Roaring Meg Pest Control: $37,000
• Okarito Community Nursery: $33,000•