Existing records indicate an important little blue penguin population in Taranaki. Increased awareness of hotspots is required to provide better protection.Report a Sighting
NZ Threat Classification: At risk, declining.
NZ Population: 50,000 to 100,000 birds.
Behaviour: Return to nest areas at dusk. In burrows or out at sea fishing by day.
Habitat: Bays with suitable shelter/burrows.
Food: Small fish, crustaceans and squid.
Lay eggs: July to November.
Moult: January to March (penguins can’t swim when moulting, making them vulnerable to attack)
Main threats: Predators (dogs, cats, stoats) and coastal development.
ID Tip: Little blue penguins are rarely seen on land during the day but they do leave footprints in the sand. Check local beaches for footprints.
ID Tip: When taking photos of footprints also include an object to provide scale e.g. keys.
Click the map below to view sightings
It’s pretty tricky obtaining good photos of penguins because they typically come ashore when it’s dark. Fortunately, Hotspot Heroes have helped us out by providing some great photos. Unless you fancy a night time adventure, your best option is to look out for penguin footprints on the beach.