Little blues big in people's hearts

Last updated 05:00 10/06/2014

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A focus group is being formed to support Timaru's penguins.

The Timaru District Council, in conjunction with the Department of Conservation and Environment Canterbury, would work with the group to assist when needed, district council parks and recreation manager Bill Steans said.

"I'm not sure how far [the group] is going to go ... but there are quite a few people with the penguins' interest at heart, which is really good."

He said people regularly visited Marine Parade to watch the little blue penguins, which prompted the council to install yellow and black penguin signs in the area last year.

"It seems the main [area] for penguin watching is on Marine Parade, where people go in the evenings over the summer months."

The signs were put up after the first formal count found at least 50 of the smallest penguin species were living at Caroline Bay.

Further signs, designed as interpretation panels, were installed by DOC partnership ranger George Iles late last year.

The panels are designed to inform people what the penguins are doing at different stages of the year, the best way to go about watching them, and to encourage people to protect the birds.

In March this year, Greg Adams, of Wanderer Backpackers, spoke out over his fears that rats, stoats and cats, among other predators, would target the penguins if some form of pest control was not set up.

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- The Timaru Herald

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