$1.8m grant awarded to Central Otago Queenstown Trail Network
Our latest round of grants can be viewed here
The Otago Community Trust was pleased to award a $50,000 grant to the Yellow Eyed Penguin Trust in November last year, to help establish a yellow-eyed penguin field research base at Long Point in the Catlins. The yellow-eyed penguin or hoiho is a penguin native to New Zealand. However, this native species is the world's most endangered penguin. Some researchers fear that the hoiho could be marching towards extinction by 2060.
In 2009 when the Yellow Eyed Penguin Trust purchased Long Point/Irahuka, there were approximately 50 breeding pairs of hoiho in this reserve. At that time Long Point / Irahuka was the second largest habitat for hoiho after the Otago Peninsula. Today in this area there are only 18 pairs breeding. In order to reverse this situation intensive management is required and establishing a dedicated research base for field researchers is a must.
Once established, the field research base at Long Point in the Catlins will be used for undertaking all aspects of reserve maintenance, as well as the annual monitoring from October to March of yellow-eyed penguin during their breeding season. In 2017 yellow-eyed penguin chicks were often uplifted from their habitat at Long Point by field researchers because they were under weight or their parents were injured. These chicks were looked after by the team at Penguin Place and then released back into their habitat. Having a permenant base at Long Point will allow field researchers and volunteers to stay on site longer and deliver individually focussed management to help save this species from extinction.
The base will be set up as a bunk room sleeping four, and a toilet, kitchen and bathroom, lounge and equipment shed. The fundraising for this project is on-going and the Yellow Eyed Penguin Trust is awaiting the outcome of a number of funding applications before the project can advance.
You can learn more about the Yellow Eyed Penguin Trust HERE