Authorities are appealing for dog owners to keep their pets supervised after the deaths of 14 penguins in Tasmania's north-west.A member of the public found the dead animals at the penguin viewing area at Stanley on Sunday night.
It is believed the penguins died after being attacked by dogs.
Parks and Wildlife Service north-west ranger David Fulford said the penguins were in varying states of decay, which indicated they had been killed over a period of time.
"It's obviously pretty concerning for us, this is a problem that occasionally comes up across the north-west of the state, it can certainly have an impact on those localised populations," he said.
"It's really difficult to give an accurate number on the numbers of that population but obviously for 14 penguins to be taken that would be classed as reasonably significant."
Charges may be laid over the incident.
"We are asking the community to ensure their dogs are kept in secure yards and not allowed to roam unsupervised," Mr. Fulford said.
"If dogs are found at The Nut State Reserve and are harming penguins, dogs may be seized, impounded and declared a dangerous dog."
The Parks and Wildlife Service is working with Circular Head Council on identifying, trapping and impounding any dogs found roaming in the area.
They are appealing to members of the public for information.
Some of the penguins have been take to the Department of Primary Industries Laboratories in Launceston to determine a cause of death.