Blue penguins' future looks rosy
Kaikoura's Penguin Education and Awareness Programme is achieving success.
The programme, a collaboration between Kaikoura Volunteer Coastguard and Kaikoura Ocean Research Institute, aims to raise awareness of little blue penguins through education programmes run in schools and the community.
Twelve groups of students from Kaikoura primary and preschools visited the Kaikoura Coastguard building last month to learn about the life and challenges facing the penguins which call Kaikoura home.
After a presentation upstairs in the coastguard building, the school groups are introduced to the penguins by programme leaders Jody Weir and Alastair Judkins, and volunteers.
The penguins are living in special nesting boxes, complete with viewing area, underneath the building.
Children have been able to see the penguins in different stages of development including just-hatched chicks to older chicks losing their down feathers and preparing to head to sea for the first time.
After learning about the penguins on their visit, students at St Joseph's School decided they would like to raise money to sponsor their own penguin.
They held a special penguin mufti day last Wednesday where they dressed in blue, ate blue food, drank blue drinks, wrote penguin poetry and had a lot of fun while raising enough money to sponsor two penguin chicks.
Suburban School has also held a penguin day with penguin dances and activities. They even made a penguin to stay with them in their classroom.
If you are interested in sponsoring a Kaikoura Little Blue Penguin for $100 or a nesting box for $500 (a great Christmas present or company mascot) contact the Penguin Education and Awareness Programme through Kaikoura Ocean Research's email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Funds raised will be used for education programmes. There are also guided visits to the colony during the evenings over the summer at $40 a person. These can be organised through the same email address.