Six of the world’s eighteen penguin species live and breed in New Zealand. Five of these are rated as threatened or endangered by the IUCN redlist. Their biology is poorly understood hampering the development of effective conservation measures.
Our aim is to improve the conservation status of New Zealand penguin species through research initiatives, community involvement and advocacy.
Penguins - sentinels of our oceans
“Penguins tell us about our world in a lot of different ways – and particularly the oceans.
They are on the front-lines of sea change.”
P. Dee Boersma, Founder of Centre for Ecosystem Sentinels
Our overall goal is to improve knowledge of all New Zealand penguin species, but our initial focus is on species living on the mainland, especially Little penguins / kororā and Fiordland penguins / tawaki.
Work on the Sub-Antarctic islands got underway in October, with counts of Erect-crested penguins on the Bounty Islands.
Little penguins/kororā live and breed all around New Zealand’s coastline. Conservation of the species relies heavily on the efforts of community groups. We’re working with some of these groups to coordinate a national monitoring programme and better inform kororā conservation actions.
We can't hope for nature to fix problems we created
“The threats to penguins have never been more dangerous to their long-term survival and they have never occurred on so many fronts simultaneously.”
Lloyd S. Davis, University of Otago, author of
“Prof. Penguin – Discovery and adventure with penguins“
The NZ Penguin Initiative is a project of the T/Gear Charitable Trust and New Zealand penguin scientists. It collaborates with various research, conservation and community groups like the Tawaki Project, the West Coast Penguin Trust, Birds New Zealand, and the Global Penguin Society.
Do you have question about our work? Do you want to find out how you can help us or work with us? Do you have general queries about New Zealand's penguin species?
Then don't hesitate to get in touch by filling out the form below.
NZ Penguin Initiative
PO Box 6319