Hello friends and family
We had no chicks die this week. Thank goodness! I am still treating one chick but the rest have completed their course of antibiotics and are starting to grow. The diphtheria does knock them about quite badly as all of their energy goes into fighting the disease and they don’t grow. In a month or so, they will have all caught up, but in the meantime, they are on the right track. I have treated 34 chicks and 8 died. November is a difficult month for Yellow-eyed penguin carers.
The weather has been hot and dry, with enough wind to evaporate the 45mm of rain that we did get. This means watering our small trees which is heavy work to be doing in the heat. The up side is being outside, surrounded by stunning Cabbage trees and flax, enjoying the sweet perfume and admiring the bees as they go about their work.
Chris came and stayed for a few days and he has been grubbing thistles and repairing fences. I have work to do repairing some tree circles that the rabbits can currently get under. When they do, they ring-bark the trees and kill them. It is a constant challenge to keep one step ahead of the rabbits!
On Friday, David Clarke, our local Labour Party representative came to visit with Ruth Dyson, the Labour Party spokesperson for Conservation. Our message to them was that Yellow-eyed penguins are in danger of extinction on the South Island and more resources are needed to prevent this. The department of conservation has updated its website and noted that there are fewer than 200 nests this season. Surely this rates a threat status more than ‘nationally vulnerable’. Why do we as New Zealanders practice conservation brinkmanship like this?
Have a great week!