Hello friends and family.
Eric and Barbara came and stayed on Sunday night which was a real treat and the weather was so nice on Monday that I checked on the bees. One of the swarms liked its new home and has stayed there, the other flew away.
Because of the Diphtheria, we have upped our monitoring rounds to every second day for the next few weeks.
This has been another busy week and it takes a bit of keeping up with it all. On Tuesday afternoon I got a call from Walter, our Penguin Rescue Chairman to let me know that he and his wife would be coming to the meeting at the Marae on Friday. I was on the way to a Melbourne Cup party in Oamaru which was very pleasant.
Emma, an honours student arrived at 7:15am on Wednesday to begin her research on visitor interactions with penguins. Chris and Hiltrun came up on Wednesday and we checked the nests. I started the second chick in nest 107 on antibiotics on Thursday morning as it had diphtheria as well.
On Thursday we got advice of a meeting at DOC offices in Dunedin on Friday, but we could not attend it as we already had a meeting here. Yellow-eyed penguins have experienced a severe decline in population, measured by active nest numbers in the last 6 years. The drop has been over half and the situation is serious. The Dunedin meeting was called to look at possible strategies to reduce the rate of decline in the population.
Our meeting at the Marae was, in part, to explore ways to better protect the penguins here. The impact of all the visitors last season has been well documented in our last annual report, and trying to minimise this is even more important than before. We care for 96% of North Otago’s penguin population, even though our numbers have dropped. They are too precious to be expended as free tourist entertainment.
Have a great week!