The Tawaki Project
Until recently, the enigmatic Fiordland penguin or tawaki, has been one of the least studied penguin species in the world despite being one of three penguin species on the New Zealand mainland. In 2014, the Tawaki Project started a long-term research program on the species investigating the species’ marine ecology across its breeding range.
We have teamed up with the Tawaki Project to continue their fantastic work into the future.
The research milestones listed below outline how we will work with the Tawaki Project to advance evidence-based conservation of the species.
|Milestone Number||Category||Description||Target Outcome||ETA|
|FP1||Demography||Design & conduct survey of Fiordland to establish species’ occupancy within fjords.||Technical report & scientific publication||2022|
|FP2||Demography||Work towards establishing marked populations at representative sites, e.g. Jackson Head, Milford Sound, Whenua Hou and investigate feasibility of automated monitoring solutions.||Automated transponder ID gates in place at representative sites within the species' breeding range including maintenance plans.||2022|
|FP3||Demography||Establish national Fiordland penguin database to document population dynamics across all monitored sites.||Open accessible Fiordland penguin monitoring database (web-based)||2020|
|FP4||Demography||Work towards the continuation DOC’s monitoring program at key sites throughout the species’ mainland range.||Independently funded double count monitoring programme on Whenua Hou, Breaksea Island, Stafford & Jackson Head||2022|
|FP5||Marine Ecology||Coordinate with universities/research organisations to ensure maintenance of research momentum to establish baseline ecological information.||Research projects||long term|
|FP6||Marine Ecology||Examine species’ fjord ecology and suitability of fjords as buffer zones in the face of continuing ocean warming.||PhD student supervision; PhD thesis & scientific publications||2022|
|FP7||Marine Ecology||Investigate role of Marine Protected Areas for species’ foraging success as a case study for MPA effectiveness.||PhD student supervision; PhD thesis & scientific publications||2022|
|FP8||Marine Ecology||Work towards an annual foraging monitoring program to assess how fluctuations in the marine environment determine population dynamics.||Annual deployment of GPS dive loggers at sites representative of Fiordland penguin breeding distribution (i.e. West Coast, Fiordland, Foveaux Strait)||long term|