Fence to protect penguin nests

NATASHA THYNE
Last updated 05:00 07/08/2014
penguins
JOHN BISSET/ Fairfax NZ
NIGHT WALKERS: Two little blue penguins go for a walk along Marine Parade.

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A proposed fence along Marine Parade in Timaru will help to further protect penguin habitats.

The double strand rope fence, of a similar style to that along the nearby Caroline Bay boardwalk, is being looked at before the next nesting season for the area's little blue penguins starts in late spring.

The proposal follows suggestions from a newly formed penguin support group to add to the protection offered without blocking people's views.

Timaru District Council parks and recreation manager Bill Steans said the fence will start from the carpark next to the volleyball area at the top of the beach and run to the low tide mark.

He said the fence will deter people from climbing over and disturbing the penguins but still allow any penguins that get on to the road to get back to the beach.

There are signs around the bay that warn people not to use flash photography around the penguins.

However, Department of Conservation ranger George Iles said they had not addressed the issue.

"The problem is people want to get close to the penguins and are going right down to the rocks."

He hoped the new fence will make more of a difference, blocking access to the rockbed.

At last year's annual count of the birds, there were 42 adults and 11 chicks present.

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- The Timaru Herald

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