Hello friends and family
We are all adjusting to life in lockdown. As the penguins are so endangered, we can continue our work – highly modified – that is essential at this time of the season. Many of the penguins are ending the moult and with the night-time temperatures dropping, the risk of new malaria infections has diminished so I am able to release more penguins from care. We are now looking for late moulters and ones taking more than a month to complete the moult. We continue to trap intensively. We are working in pairs to reduce risk and are meeting outside rather than in the kitchen. Gloves, masks wipes, sanitizers and soap are everywhere! If I can get outside, I can cope just fine.
The reserve has been closed until further notice. Even yesterday, tourists arrived, expecting to see penguins. They are not following the rules on any level. Both gates are locked and will stay that way as the default. The penguins reclaimed the beach within days of being able to.
Yellow-eyed penguins know how to self-isolate and so we can use their position as part of the puzzle of diagnosing disease. Earlier we found Mr and Mrs 211 apart. He was under some tussock at the south end and had Malaria. She had gone through the fence and into the crop paddock, out of sight of any other penguin. She had an infection. Now that they have both recovered, they are back together, at home and relaxing.
I have started my autumn hedge cutting rounds. It will take several weeks to cut them all but hey – I have plenty of time! Currently we have 11 Yellow-eyed penguins in care and 2 little ones.
Have a great week!