Little Penguin colonies on Granite Island and West Island near Victor Harbor are in serious decline, while at Penneshaw they are under constant threat from fur seal predation. In order to keep track of the status of the colony at Kingscote, every year in late October around 70 community volunteers help out with the annual Kingscote penguin census to estimate the size of the penguin population and determine the level of breeding activity.
All burrows along a 5-km stretch of coastline between Reeves Point and Brownlow are counted and assessed. Burrow locations are recorded with a GPS so we now have maps of the penguin colony like the one below. This will reveal whether coastal developments along the foreshore are impacting on penguin habitat.
Above: Map of 2010 Penguin Census burrows showing Active burrows (red) and Inactive burrows (yellow). Click to enlage.
Results so far indicate that the population is fairly stable, hovering around 738 ± 69 individuals. Some of the key findings include:
Above: Graph showing the estimated Kingscote Little Penguin population since 2007.
Click here to download the Community Census of the little penguin colony at Kingscote, Kangaroo Island - 2007 Report. (602.30 KB)
Click here to view a digital PlaceStorie about the Kingscote community census of the little penguin colony.
Above: Pair of Little Penguins in their burrow.
Above: 2010 Census volunteers. Image courtesy S.McGowan.
Above: Volunteers searching for burrows along the Kingscote foreshore. Image courtesy C.Wilson.
Above: Example of an 'Active' penguin burrow.
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