Kororā/little penguin population gets boost from local board

Last Updated : 30 Sep 2022
Image courtesy of The Animal Sanctuary.

Sick kororā/little penguins found washed up on North Shore beaches will soon be rehabilitated with help from a Devonport-Takapuna local board grant.

The Helping Paws Charitable Trust received a grant from the board in September to buy vet cages for their new little penguin rehabilitation centre due to open in 2023.

Helping Paws founder and chair Megan Denize explains that the number of sick kororā, also known as little blue penguins, in Auckland and Northland is increasing due to the effects of global warming on their food supply.

"Kororā come to land twice a year to complete their moult and raise their babies. They can’t go out fishing during those times, so they must build up good reserves. Unfortunately, the fish they would naturally feast on are now sitting out in deeper waters where it's cooler, so they can’t build up their usual reserves and they end up sick and dying on beaches," Denize says.

While Helping Paws is working with organisations such as the Animal Sanctuary in Matakana, many are at capacity.

“There's a limit to the number of places that can take kororā. So, the general advice is to leave them, which isn’t ideal because they're a threatened species. If we don't give them the support they need, then we're not helping to boost the population."

The board grant goes towards the crucial purchase of fibreglass cages which reduces the risk of cross-contamination between the birds.

"We are just so incredibly grateful. Building a facility on this scale is an expensive exercise and we honestly couldn't do it without the support of Devonport-Takapuna Local Board. We're incredibly grateful that they've recognised the need."

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