Posted on 06/04/2016 by Phillip Island Nature Parks

Protecting St Kilda's Little Penguin colony

The protection of St Kilda’s little penguin colony was at the heart of a $250,000 funding package announced on Sunday by the Hon Lisa Neville, Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water.

The funding from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) will be spread over four years, and will ensure that the penguins who call the St Kilda Pier and breakwater home are adequately protected.

“Phillip Island Nature Parks thanks the Minister and her department for their prompt action. Protecting Victoria’s penguins is a fundamental priority for all of us. The Nature Parks will provide Parks Victoria with the support it requires to ensure a safe future for this colony”, said Jeff Floyd, Chair.

Parks Victoria and Phillip Island Nature Parks, together with community group Earthcare, will work together to ensure the penguins can safely continue their nightly return from the water.

An initial 12 month trial by Parks Victoria will include increased patrols, community education and the use of surveillance cameras.

Penguin-friendly fencing will be erected between the rock wall and the pier to restrict access while maintaining vantage points for viewing. New signage will also be installed to help educate visitors about penguins and how they can help keep the penguins safe.

“Biologists from the Nature Parks’ research team are delighted to have the opportunity to contribute to a wildlife cooperative, convened by Parks Victoria,” said Dr Peter Dann, Research Manager at Phillip Island Nature Parks.

“Along with wildlife specialists from DELWP, and representatives from Earthcare, the City of Port Phillip Bay and other local stakeholders, the Co-op will be able to monitor the population and health of the St Kilda colony.”

A longer term research program will also be developed, including involving the community with bird counting and wider education about the penguins.