The local Little Blue penguin population was unknown until the Rena Oil Spill crisis.
350 oiled penguins – mostly from Mauao, Moturiki and Motuotau, were caught, cleaned and released back into their original environment after the rocks were cleared of oil.
FIND OUT MORE - Post-release survival and reproductive success of oiled little blue penguins
It was during this time that we “discovered” the local population was much bigger than we had imagined. An estimated 800 nest on Mauao, 200 on Moturiki and 400 on Motuotau.
We have discovered that the penguins can nest twice during the spring/summer breeding season – probably due to the warmer climate and abundance of food.