News Archive

DOC urges cat and dog owners to help protect coastal species

4th September, 2022

Every year, our furry friends injure and kill hundreds of native and endangered coastal species.

Many marine mammals and sea birds such as seals, kororā and red-billed gulls are under threat due to attacks by cats and dogs.

That’s prompted the Department of Conservation to launch a campaign aimed at protect our native species.

Rayssa Almeida has more. Listen here:


1 news interviews DOC Ranger about their Wildlife wise dogs programme:

Chile rejects $2.5bn iron and copper mine planned near penguin reserve

27th January, 2023

Chile’s government has rejected a controversial $2.5bn iron and copper mining project proposed in an important area for biodiversity and marine life.

The Dominga project, 70km north of the city of La Serena, would have seen an open-pit mine, processing and desalination plants, as well as a large port, installed just 30km from a famed Humboldt penguin reserve.”

Read the news article here.

Researchers identify gyrovirus threatening critically endangered penguin chicks

27th January, 2023

Roughly a quarter of the yellow-eyed penguin chicks from the mainland died from the respiratory disease during the 2021 November to December hatching season.

The likely cause of a disease that’s resulted in mass deaths among critically endangered hoiho (yellow eyed penguin) chicks has been discovered, but perhaps with hopes it can eventually be prevented.

Read the story here.



This is a species that cannot afford to have more threats to their survival…….

Hoiho are classified globally as endangered and in New Zealand were recently (2021) reclassified as nationally endangered. Hoiho are undergoing a serious continued decline in abundance, and are one of the most endangered penguin species in the world.

Hoiho numbers continue to decline despite current terrestrial conservation management efforts. Multiple threats affect hoiho in the marine and terrestrial environment and as the population declines it is likely to become less resilient to future impacts.

Read more about the hoiho and the efforts being made to protect them here.

The Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust is a not-for-profit conservation organisation, highly respected by the Minister of Conservation for its work in the preservation of the endangered yellow-eyed penguin. In 2016 the Trust was formally recognised as a Key Programme Partner both to the Department of Conservation and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu for its conservation work with hoiho.


New marine temperature variance forecast map available – interesting and alarming at the same time

27th January, 2023

SwellMap’s temperature anomaly map showing water temperatures in the Cook Strait are up 1.45°C above average on the 23rd of December 2022.

Now available: Ocean temperature forecast shows if water is colder or warmer than expected

As the climate changes, our seas are getting warmer. A new forecast developed by the MetService-led Moana Project is now available on SwellMap, showing the difference between actual and expected sea surface temperatures for New Zealand waters. In science terms, this difference between actual and expected temperatures is called the ‘anomaly’.

This 7-day forecast shows a map of the difference between actual and expected temperatures for that specific day of the year, with red colouring indicating warmer than usual conditions and blue colouring colder than usual conditions.   Users can click on the map to see the exact temperature differences for any location.

Read the article here.

New Year brings severe marine heatwave to southern NZ

27th January, 2023

Although the early new year is set to bring rain to many areas, severe marine heatwaves are forecast for the bottom of the South Island where sea surface temperatures will reach a whopping 4 degrees or more above average. This is according to MetService oceanographer Dr Joao de Souza, who is tracking marine heatwaves as part of the Moana Project

Dr Souza explains, “Sea surface temperatures are rising rapidly at the moment along the West Coast of the South Island, in Fiordland, around Stewart Island and towards the Otago Peninsula. The marine heatwaves we’ve seen building since before Christmas are expected to reach a new high Wednesday, with coastal patches off the West Coast forecast to reach 4.7 degrees above average for this time of year. Fiordland will also experience high water temperatures around this time, and around Stewart Island extending towards the Otago Peninsula we’re expecting a ‘severe’ marine heatwave later in the week, on 5-6 January. Then, surface temperatures are forecast to reach 18.4 degrees, compared to the 13.5 degree average – a difference of almost 5 degrees.”

Read the article here.

Help Birds NZ’s Beach Patrol Scheme

27th January, 2023
Occasionally, walking along the beach, we have all come across the sad sight of a dead seabird. Just as our Trust is interested in reports of dead penguins to help inform our conservation efforts, there are others interested in all dead seabirds as an important way of studying seabird movements throughout the year and understanding ‘wrecks’ when large numbers of dead birds wash up.
You can help Birds NZ by making a report as and when you find a dead seabird, or even doing regular beach patrols.
Find out more here, including the observation form.