Who conducts the research?

A team of 20 volunteers from Earthcare St Kilda monitor the colony every fortnight. Penguins are tagged with microchips so that they can be easily identified, they are weighed , sexed and checked for human-induced injuries such as entanglements. Pollution from inside their nest is also removed.

Why conduct research?

The primary aim is to ensure the population is healthy and not declining in size. Reproductive success is also monitored by recording chick survival, and penguin weights can provide information regarding the state of Port Phillip Bay. Comparisons can also be made between the section of the breakwater which is accessible to visitors and the section which is not. These comparisons can ensure appropriate management actions are taken in the public section.

What have you found?

Currently, the population appears to be increasing with an estimated population size of 1400 individuals. The colony is currently in the incubation stage of breeding with most breeding adults incubating their eggs. ~10% of nests are polluted.

Photo: Doug Gimesy

Photo: Doug Gimesy

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