The abundance, breeding distribution and nest sites of Blue Penguins in Otago, New Zealand
|Title||The abundance, breeding distribution and nest sites of Blue Penguins in Otago, New Zealand|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||1994|
|Type of Article||paper|
|Keywords||Blue Penguin, breeding, density, Eudyptula minor, New Zealand|
A survey of Blue Penguins (Eudyptula minor) in 1991-92 along the coast of Otago in the South Island found at least 2073 breeding pairs between the Waitaki River and Nugget Point. The total population in this area, including immature birds, is estimated at about 9300 birds. These birds use 20 breeding sites along the coast, but most (97%) are concentrated in four areas - Taieri Island, Green Island, Otago Peninsula and Oamaru. Birds no longer breed at seven sites, have decreased on Green Island and at one site on Otago Peninsula, remained largely unchanged at Nugget Point and have recently increased at Pilot's Beach near Taiaroa Head, and possibly at Oamaru. Dogs killed at least 34% of birds breeding in one part of Oamaru. Most nests were in depressions completely covered by vegetation (39.6%) or in burrows dug into soil (36.9%) but the proportions of burrow types differed between sites. Introduced mammalian predators had little or no access to most sites; where predator access was unrestricted, some predator control was usually in place.