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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 10, 2013

New Zealand Farmer Helps Save Rare Penguin From Extinction

English: White-Flippered Penguin (Eudyptula al...

English: White-Flippered Penguin (Eudyptula albosignata) standing on rocks at Pohatu Reserve (http://.www.pohatu.co.nz), Banks Peninsula, South Island, New Zealand. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Scientific American wrote about how a New Zealand farmer who helped a rare penguin double the size of its population. The farmer owns land where the rare White-flippered penguins or Korora (Eudyptula albosignata) live.  The penguins are endemic to the Canterbury region of New Zealand and have only two major breeding sites, the remote Motunau Island and the volcanic headlands of the Banks Peninsula. It is on the Banks Peninsula that  Francis Helps and his wife Shireen have converted much of their farmland into a safe haven for the rare birds.

 

The penguin population had declined due to invasive cats, ferrets and stoats (a type of weasel) which had threatened many native birds. 80 percent of the penguins throughout the Canterbury area were killed over a 50 years. Beginning twenty years ago Helps and the Department of conservation set traps to catch predators and nesting boxes to protect penguin nests helping the penguin population to recover.

 

Read more at New Zealand Farmer Helps Save Rare Penguin from Extinction | Extinction Countdown, Scientific American Blog Network.

 

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