Little Penguins: Predator control

 While nesting, Little Penguins face threats from a number of predators including dogs, feral pigs, cats, rats, mustelids (ferrets, stoats, weasels) and weka. 

Dogs are a major threat to our Little blue penguins.

Dogs are a major threat to our Little blue penguins.

In urban areas, such as Wellington, dogs and mustelids have the greatest impact on our Little Penguin’s population size and distribution. 

Dogs are one of the worst threats, but also one of the easiest to remedy. This season, at least three penguins have already been killed by dogs. However, keeping dogs on leashes around nesting areas can solve this problem. 

If you go to the beach, please keep your dog leashed and encourage others to do the same. Informative signs have been erected in a number of areas along the Wellington coast which direct dog owners to the nearest safe place to let their dogs run off-leash.

While dogs can be deterred by nest boxes , mustelids remain a problem. Because of this, it is important to lower the population of rats and mustelids through an extensive trapping and baiting programme. 

In our programme volunteers monitor 55 traps for rats and mustelids along the coast and refresh bait stations for rats further inland , benefitting the penguins as well as other native coastal fauna  

This pest control programme has been generously supported by the Wellington City Council and the Infinity foundation – which has allowed our trapping line to be extended from Tarakena bay to Breaker bay.