Protecting St Kilda’s Little Penguin Colony

04 April 2016

The Andrews Labor Government today announced $250,000 to help protect and monitor St Kilda's iconic little penguin colony.

The funding will be spread over four years and will ensure visitors can continue to enjoy the penguins who call the St Kilda Pier and breakwater home.

Parks Victoria and the Phillip Island Nature Parks, together with community group Earthcare, will make sure the penguins can safety continue their nightly stroll along the beach.

Parks Victoria will conduct an initial 12 month trial which will include increased patrols, community education and the use of surveillance cameras to help prevent attacks on the penguins like the one seen over the Easter weekend. Footage obtained from the surveillance cameras could also be used to penalise offenders.

Penguin-friendly fencing will be erected between the rock wall and the pier to restrict access but maintain vantage points for onlookers, with consultation to take place to ensure the fencing does not impact the visitor experience.

New signage will also be installed to help educate visitors about penguins and how they can help keep the penguins safe.

A local wildlife group will be reinstated to look at ways of monitoring the health and numbers of the St Kilda little penguin colony into the future. The Group will be convened by Parks Victoria, and will draw on the expertise of members including Phillip Island Nature Parks biologists, DELWP wildlife specialists, Earthcare volunteers, the City of Port Phillip and other local stakeholders.

A longer term research program, including ways for community to be involved with bird counting and wider education about the penguins will also be developed.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water Lisa Neville

“St Kilda’s iconic little penguins should be there for everyone to enjoy and we've taken swift action to protect them."

“Better surveillance and better protection of the colony is crucial following recent attacks and will help protect the penguins as they make their way from the sea every evening."

Quotes attributable to Member for Albert Park Martin Foley

St Kilda's little penguin colony is not only wildly popular with our local community but it's an important drawcard for visitors. These measures will help protect the penguins while still allowing both locals and visitors to enjoy this much loved tourism attraction.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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