Helping to look after the local wildlife

By: Joerg Thamm

As the weather warms up, we are seeing the inevitable increase in wildlife on our beaches.

Little blue penguins are coming ashore at the moment as they begin to moult. At this time, they are very vulnerable to predators as they lose their feathers and waterproofing ability, meaning they are unable to swim!

Without being able to escape into the ocean, the little blue penguins are at higher risk of dog and cat attacks. They are a protected species in New Zealand and their population is declining due to predators. Please keep a careful eye on your dogs at the beach and put them on a leash if you happen to spot any penguins.

Keeping cats who live in coastal areas indoors at night is also recommended.

We are also going to start seeing seals around the base of the Mount over the coming months. Fur seals are the most common native marine animal in New Zealand, however we only have as little as five per cent of the numbers that were around 200 years ago.

This time of year seals are often with pups, and unfortunately the pups blend in so well with the rocks they often get injured by people trying to get close to the mother for photos.

Seals are wild animals and can become aggressive if threatened, so it is recommended that you and your animals stay at least 20m away from the seals in order to avoid injury tothe seals and their pups as well as you and your pets.

 

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