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Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust
The Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust was formed in 1987 after research indicated a dramatic decline in the penguin population on mainland New Zealand. The aim was to rebuild the population to self-sustaining levels.
The Trust’s work involves the conservation of coastal ecosystems that include yellow-eyed penguin breeding habitats. It has protected yellow-eyed penguin habitats along the Otago and Southland coastlines by establishing penguin reserves, producing native plants in its nursery, providing fencing to protect nests from wandering stock, replanting breeding areas with tens of thousands of native trees and shrubs, trapping predators such as stoats and ferrets, funding research and advocacy, and educating about the need for penguin conservation.
Ironically, the Trust’s success creates an urgency to work harder as, the expanding distribution of penguins demands more native vegetation be planted to provide nest sites and needs more protection from predation.
Current operation at the Trust's own Nursery -
The Trust raises about 5,000 plants each year in its own nursery from locally collected seeds. The planting of native trees and flaxes to provide sheltered breeding sites is one of the Trust’s most successful strategies.
Community involvement -
The nursery is a 100% community venture. Its sustainability depends on the generosity of benefactors and hundreds of volunteers who help to nurture the plants. From six to 16 are present any Wednesday, contributing their own garden skills and knowledge of native plants, and producing thousands of wire plant cages and pegs.