Thursday, 20 June 2013 11:39

Become a Protector of the Little Penguins

penguinwardenlogoStepping off the Manly Ferry at dusk, Sara was finally ready to unwind after a long day at the office. Having signed off from her last work-related call of the day, she was looking forward to relaxing at home with her partner and small daughter.  But as she walked past the boardwalk by the wharf, she stopped to get a quick glance of her favourite friends – the Little Penguins.

This was always her favourite part of coming home to Manly. She peeked over the steel railing and saw Mrs. Silverwing standing there just outside her burrow, her tiny gray-white and indigo flippers slightly raised, valiantly looking out past the incoming tide to the expansive harbour beyond. Ignoring the crowd of spectators behind her, she was patiently waiting for her partner, Mr. Silverwing, to come home after a long and dangerous day of fishing in the open sea. Sara smiled and felt her eyes instantly well up. ‘What an adorable and noble little creature’, she thought.  She couldn’t help but think of her own family waiting for her to come home that night, and hoped the little penguin pair would soon be reunited safely in their nest.

Manly’s Little Penguin colony is now the last breeding colony on the mainland of New South Wales. Listed as an Endangered Population under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, the Little Penguins have dwindled in numbers and need all the help they can get to fend themselves from dogs, careless humans and ever-encroaching development. Many individuals, organizations and Government Authorities have been involved in monitoring the Penguin population in Manly and developing a Little Penguin Recovery Program to protect them, but more help is needed. You can make a difference!The National Parks and Wildlife Service are looking for new recruits to join its Little Penguin Recovery Team as Volunteer Penguin Wardens.  We need caring people who will help us continue our program of public awareness and regular nightly patrols to watch over penguins at the Manly Wharf. Our job is to educate the community and protect the penguins so they can breed safely from human or dog interference.

The aim of the Volunteer Penguin Wardens is to:

 

  • Patrol the Penguin breeding areas and nests at Manly Wharf and Federation Point – prevent dogs being on beaches and unleashed in these areas.
  • Prevent contact with penguins or nesting areas.
  • Prevent use of flash photography of penguins.
  • Educate and inform public about penguins and draw attention to Council and NPWS regulations regarding dogs, boating, interference with penguins and fishing.

 

Receive training and become accredited with NPWS, make new friends and help save Manly’s Little Penguins. 

To sign up to become a Penguin Warden email mec@manly.nsw.gov.au.

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