The efforts of community volunteers mean penguins now have a safe place to nest when they come ashore at Leigh.
Volunteers have placed 51 nesting boxes along the coast from Ti Point to Goat Island and at Leigh for the penguins/kororā.
Supported by Rodney Local Board and Forest & Bird Warkworth Area, the penguin project aims to create a safe habitat for penguins and seabirds. It is a collaboration of many people from the Leigh community and environmental agencies.
While penguins haven’t used the nesting boxes yet, volunteer Jenny Enderby says expert advice is that it could happen in a year.
“Everyone is keeping a close eye out in case penguins take up residence in the next few months. We are setting up camera surveillance to see if we can record penguins coming ashore at night.”
Camera surveillance is also used to monitor predator activity and to assist with predator control. Pest control efforts include trap lines covering the Leigh coast from Daniel’s Reef to Penguin Street and along Ti Point Walkway from the wharf.
Traps are monitored regularly, and volunteers have caught many rats, mice, possums and weasels which are recorded on the CatchIT site.
Next steps are extending the trapline to the Leigh Harbour area and further afield to include other areas as funding permits.
Volunteers are helping the Matheson Bay community and Leigh Harbour Valley Society with traplines and are finding out more about predator-free areas in other communities.