Mohua Blue Penguin Trust


Eggs, and more eggs! - 23 July 2023
Another winter, another breeding season - the first wave of egg laying is in full swing. And it's happening about 3 weeks ealier than last year. It will be a busy time for the kororā as well as for the volunteers who will record all breeding attempts as accurately as possible.
Ready and waiting - 8 April 2023
Nest box maintenance and vegetation cut backs are mostly done, and just as well - the penguins are returning in ever increasing numbers for their pre-breeding rituals. An influx of rats has also been dealt with. May another year of breeding commence!
Breeding season finished - 13 February 2023
It has been a successful breeding season at Port Tarakohe. The last chick for the year left its nest on the 3 February. The final 2022 count: a total of 131 chicks fledged, a 44% increase on last year's numbers. Here's to an equally successful 2023!
Monitoring is physical - 9 December 2022
In order to learn about breeding behaviour, quite a bit of data is being collected. This requires a lot of walking! The first wave of chicks has now fledged, more will follow during the next couple of months. Once breeding has come to an end, we will publish a season summary.
Breeding time! - 17 October 2022
Keep an eye out for kororā footprints in the sand - this is the time of year when adults make frequent trips from the sea to their nests. If you come across tracks leading up to a road (crossing), please take a photo and let us know about the location.
Severe weather event a challenge - 21 August 2022
The 2022 breeding season has begun. A small number of eggs were laid at the end of July, followed by a first large wave of laying during the middle of August. This coincided with a severe weather event - 404 mm of rain over four days. We can only wait and see how breeding success will have been affected come hatching time.
Never ending rubbish collection - 5 July 2022
The Totaranui beach clean ups continue. Five collections have been completed so far, one more to go. Each time similar amounts of rubbish were found, and in June included a whole range of flip flops! Thank you to all the volunteers who participated.
A compromise is being sought - 13 May 2022
Seven submitters were heard for and against the installation of a fence to protect the colony at Port Tarakohe. Read more details on pages One and Two of the 6 May 2022 edition of the Golden Bay Weekly.
Port Tarakohe fence proposal - 10 April 2022
The Trust has inititated a process to install a fence protecting the nesting area on the western arm at Port Tarakohe. If you are supportive of this project, you can make your voice heard by filling out a submission with TDC here.
Changing of the guards - 26 January 2022
The last two chicks of the season are just about to fledge, while the colony is mainly occupied by unattractive moulting adults. Soon however, they will leave their shelters too, freeing up the colony's nesting boxes for some valuable maintenance time.
Totaranui beach clean-up - 3 December 2021
Thanks to a partnership with MacLab, the Trust is organising 6 Abel Tasman beach clean-ups over the coming 12 months. Last week the Golden Bay Homeschool Adventure Club was hard at work. More volunteers are welcome, please get in touch!
Chicks with ticks - 6 October 2021
Some not-so-good news from the colony this month. Blood-thirsty ticks have emerged feasting on the penguins, and even though ticks are a natural occurrence, we are experimenting with various natural methods to minimise their infestation.
Nevermind the down time - 21 August 2021
The people of NZ might be in lockdown, but the penguins are going about their business as usual. Nest building was followed by egg laying, and soon the first wave of chicks will hatch. We can't wait.
Beautiful nest building - 26 June 2021
Kororā are returning to the colony in ever greater numbers - most of them have chosen a partner by now and are beginning to build their nests. Egg laying is expected for July. Peek into the box which has won the 'Most decorated' award for June...
Many hands make light work - 19 April 2021
A big 'Thank you' to the many volunteers who donated their time to help install what in the end were an additional 93 research boxes! Which means the colony now has a total of 150 boxes available for nesting. Penguins, please make yourself at home!
Clean-out and expansion of the colony - 15 February 2021
With the last moulting adult having left its boxed safety at Port Tarakohe, it's high time for a clean out and maintenance run of the colony. In addition, another 50 or so research boxes will be placed over the coming weeks, just in time for the next breeding season.
Nesting boxes - a safe habitat for moulting too - 8 January 2021
Even though the breeding season is finished, the colony is still busy with adults who have returned for their annual moult. Those hardy feathers only last so long, so once a year they are shed and replaced with a fresh new coat. It is a vulnerable time for the birds.
The last chick of the season has fledged! - 17 December 2020
This year's breeding season has come to an end with the last of the 69 chicks fledged and new adults moving into the nesting boxes for moulting. It has been a successful year for our small colony! Stuff article by Nina Hindmarsch.
The sounds of the colony - 8 November 2020
The breeding season is in full swing, with an uptake of 45 out of 57 of the nesting boxes. Most chicks are now at post-guard stage, meaning both parents are out fishing for them during the day, only returning at night. Listen to the sounds of the colony while the parents are out - the chicks are calling!
Flashing Kororā signs - 26 September 2020
Golden Bay has become the first place in New Zealand with solar-powered 'Little Penguin' traffic warning signs! Two such signs were installed - one in Pōhara and one in Ligar Bay in an attempt to prevent the deaths of penguins crossing the road at night.
And then there were chicks! - 28 August 2020
Very happy news - we have had our first chicks. The season started 2 weeks ago with the hatching of 4 little chicks, by last week the count had increased to 13. In addition, many penguins are sitting on eggs, so we are expecting more to have hatched by next week.
Signage coming to a beach near you - 10 July 2020
Big and small penguin signs have gone up in places around Golden Bay, aiming to raise awareness for the dangers kororā are facing and what you can do to help! More details - 'Nelson Mail' article from the 12th July.
Penguin box replacements - 2 May 2020
Volunteers have started work on removing the old penguin nesting boxes at Port Tarakohe. These boxes are being replaced with a new improved design, which will allow for scientific research to be undertaken.
Penguins at the Sand Sculpture Extravaganza - 7 January 2020
The new year kicked off with a 'delightful day of creative family fun with sand' at the 2020 Sand Sculpture Extravaganza organized by the Golden Bay Community Arts Council.
School children visiting the Penguin Shed - 10 December 2019
Golden Bay's home school children visited the Penguin Shed to build and decorate nesting boxes for Port Tarakohe. Fresh Choice Takaka provided the funding. The Trust intends to involve all schools in Golden Bay to make nesting boxes in the future.
Penguins at the Port - Community rendezvous - 2 December 2019
On 17 November, Trustees invited the community to join them on a tour of the proposed environmental precinct at Port Tarakohe. People heard about the science project planned to be undertaken there.
Little penguin sites likely topping 300 - 6 September 2019
Penguin detection dog Mena and her handler, Alastair Judkins, of the Kaikōura Ocean Research Institute, found 248 kororā sites in Golden Bay. Article by Cherie Sivignon published on
Port Tarakohe plans appear on track - 9 August 2019
Little blue penguin precinct possible as part of rejigged plan for Port Tarakohe. Port may undergo a large redevelopment to cater for expected growth. Article by Cherie Sivignon published on
Penguin Precinct for Port Tarakohe? - 19 July 2019
Little blue penguin precinct sought for Port Tarakohe. Port could become a penguin eco-tourism attraction. Article by Cherie Sivignon published on
New Trust formed - 7 June 2019
'Penguin fever' spreads in Golden Bay to stop the decline of little penguins. A charitable trust has been established to protect the penguin population. Article by Cherie Sivignon published on
A clear message
A clear message
Professor John Cockrem - Photo Joe Lloyd/Stuff
Professor John Cockrem - Photo Joe Lloyd/Stuff
The western side of the Port Tarakohe harbour has long been the home for little penguins.
The western side of the Port Tarakohe harbour has long been the home for little penguins.
Patron Dame Gaylene Preston, left, with education officer Heather Wallace, says it is a privilege to be invited to represent the Mohua (Golden Bay) Blue Penguin Trust.
Patron Dame Gaylene Preston, left, with education officer Heather Wallace, says it is a privilege to be invited to represent the Mohua (Golden Bay) Blue Penguin Trust.
Alastair Judkins and his penguin detector dog, Mena - photo Matthew Tso/Stuff
Alastair Judkins and his penguin detector dog, Mena - photo Matthew Tso/Stuff


page last edited 23 July 2023