A little blue penguin colony has inhabited one of the penguin boxes built by Te Mahia school students on Waikawa (Portland Island). Local Department of Conservation ranger Helen Jonas took 5 of the surplus nesting boxes built by the students and installed them on the island. Due to their small size the Little blue penguin species are vulnerable to predation and respond well to off shore islands like Waikawa where they are predator free.
This is an exciting development for the The Whangawehi Catchment Management Group. The group are hopeful that the increase in colony numbers on the island will one day help colonise the 50 nesting boxes built and installed by students along the Whangawehi valley. The vision of bringing back species such as the Little Blue Penguin was started by local kuia and koumatua. Kathleen Mato remembers flourishing blue penguin colonies along the Whangawehi valley in the 1970’s and wants them to return to their formal glory again.