September 2016: News from the West Coast Penguin Trust
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Year round Penguin Watch replaces census

After 10 years, the annual blue penguin census is changing

The Trust is going to work with NatureWatch so that all your penguin observations, including those penguin footprints that we love, can be recorded easily online, including on your smart phone while you're at the beach.  You'll also be able to add photos. 
We've put all you need to know about Penguin Watch on our website here, and once you've registered with NatureWatch, it's very easy to use.
If you'd like to maintain the count that you have been doing for years, you're welcome to send the result through to us - just email or post date, start and finish points, and number of blue penguin tracks heading out that morning to Inger: or PO Box 63, Hokitika 7810.
Photo: New Education Ranger, Lucy Waller, gets excited about penguin tracks!

Blue penguins crossing State Highway 6

This time at Hokitika

Sadly two blue penguins were killed on the road near Houhou Creek, just north of Hokitika a couple of months ago, but more recently, two live penguins were seen by local taxi driver, Steve McLaren.  He was able to stop and shoo them across the road to safety.
We need drivers to be aware that penguins could be on the road after dark and to drive a bit slower with a bit more space to the car in front to allow time to avoid any penguins safely.
Please share this with anyone you know who uses SH6 near Hokitika so that these two live penguins survive and raise their chicks this season.  In the meantime, we're talking to New Zealand Transport Agency about possible signs for next year.

Tawaki Tumbleweed Tees

New tee shirt design and new partnership


The Trust is delighted to join the Tumbleweed Tees stable of conservation trusts supported through sales of their tee shirts. 
Their latest design features three handsome tawaki and $5 from the sale of each adult tee shirt will come to the Trust. Can you have too many penguin tee shirts?  I'd suggest not!  Find out more here.

10th Anniversary for the Trust!

The Trust was formally created on 17th October 2006


Around 2003, a group of local people got together, concerned at the apparent decline in blue penguin numbers.  They formed a Trust in 2006 and work began in earnest to find out why numbers were reducing. 
In brief, predators were not the problem that had been anticipated.  Instead, road kill and dog attacks were the big issue on land and the Trust set about addressing these threats. 
Later, conservation work extended to the Coast's second penguin, the Fiordland crested penguin as well as other threatened seabirds, the Westland petrel in particular.  More recently, understanding marine threats appears increasingly important and the Trust is looking out to sea, both regionally as well as globally.
For a small Trust, great strides have been made with the essential help of all our supporters. 
Thank you and we look forward to your continued support for the next ten years and beyond!

Hokitika education workshop

Ten teachers and leaders explore the educational resource

With lots of fun and with afternoon tea, Zoe Watson took a third group of teachers through the Trust's educational resource and some of the activities at Hokitika Primary School recently.
To break the ice, they had to draw a penguin with pencil and paper on their head!  Almost impossible to do and a great ice breaker - keep it up your sleeve!
The feedback from the workshop was very positive and included:
"This was all very relevant to our school. Thank you!" and "What a fantastic resource for use in our centres and schools".
Thank you to the participants who gave up time to come along and we look forward to hearing about the penguin and seabird activities you do with the children in your care.
If you haven't seen the resource yet and would like to use it with children you teach or lead, you can download it here, or email to request a hard copy.

Include a Charity

Annual campaign to raise the profile of charitable gifts in Wills

'Include a Charity' Week earlier this month provided an opportunity for charities like ours to convey the importance of bequests to all charities in New Zealand. 
The message is that this kind of giving is easy and for everyone!  Whoever you are, whatever your situation, you can help make a difference by including a gift to our charity in your will. 
A gift can be as large or small as you wish, it just needs to be meaningful to you.  Your lasting legacy can help protect wildlife on the West Coast. 
We have put a few notes together here in case you'd like to consider how you could support the Trust; you can even link giving now to giving later to help ensure that our work with penguins, threatened seabirds and the coastal habitat continues and grows.  Thank you for thinking about it.

9th International Penguin Congress

Kerry-Jayne attended the triennial conference in Cape Town

Trust Chair, Kerry-Jayne Wilson, attended this important conference earlier this month.  She wrote: "The conference and associated workshops and meetings meant a busy week with early mornings and late nights. It was a very productive conference with some excellent work reported. With climate change on top of all the other threats seabirds face, most of the world's penguins are in decline, including ours in NZ, so the joy of meeting old friends held sombre overtones.  There was some excellent work reported from some of the less affluent countries such as South Africa, Chile and Argentina where a marine protected area about the size of Belgium centred on a penguin colony puts New Zealand's efforts at marine protection to shame. The next conference will be in Dunedin in 2019; here’s hoping by then we can report some successful conservation on the Coast."

Trust Patron receives F&B's top honour

Congratulations Craig Potton!

Conservationist, photographer, publisher and Patron of the West Coast Penguin Trust, Craig Potton has received Forest & Bird’s highest honour with his naming as a Distinguished Life Member in recognition of more than four decades’ service to conservation.
Craig received the award at Forest & Bird’s annual conference in June and we have belatedly learned of this honour.
Craig’s passion, creativity, and motivational and organising skills have made him one of New Zealand’s best known conservationists. These qualities remain undimmed nearly half a century after he collected signatures as a high school student for the Save Manapouri petition.
The Trust is honoured to have Craig as our Patron and grateful for his continued support for our work amidst his many projects and interests.
The full Forest & Bird article can be read here.

Thank yous and appreciation

We have received generous donations from
Kate Monaghan
Erin Stewart
Sarah Jones
Tony Taylor
Alison Lam
Rona Spencer
Emily Riley
I M Morrison
Pam Pope
Kev Roberts,

and we're especially grateful to Birds Ferry Lodge, Canterbury Pet Foods and Off Beat Tours for their continued support.
Some donations were made specifically to help build an enclosure for sick and injured penguins - thank you if that was you!


Most donations made recently were made to honour the late Andy Dennis, NZOM.
Andy was a passionate environmentalist and conservationist and loved the West Coast, penguins, and the Paparoas in particular.  For his funeral last month, he asked that, instead of flowers, donations be made to his local Forest & Bird branch (top of the south) or the West Coast Penguin Trust.
The Trust is hugely honoured, humbled and grateful to have been selected in this way.  Conservation has lost a champion, but his legacy, through his writing, photography and connection with so many other environmentalists will live on.
Andy became a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen's birthday honours list in June for services to conservation and you can read about his honour in this Stuff news article.
Andy will be hugely missed.

As always, more can be achieved with your help

Please donate today

With your help, we are making a big difference for the West Coast penguins and other threatened seabirds. Givealittle link
Every donation, small or large will enable us to do more.  
We hope you can help us out - why not start now?

And don't forget, if you travel for business or pleasure within New Zealand, please consider using to book your accommodation, and share it with friends, family and colleagues.  
At no extra cost to you, Kiwi Karma donates a generous 5% of the room rate to your favourite charity, and we hope you'll choose the West Coast Penguin Trust! 
They are also running a great competition where you could win a trip to California worth over $10,000.
Copyright © 2016 West Coast Penguin Trust, All rights reserved.

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