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New public yellow-eyed reserve penguin in Otago

Hon Steve Chadwick
Minister of Conservation

27 November 2007 Media Statement

New public reserve for yellow-eyed penguins in Otago

The Department of Conservation (DOC) and the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust have together purchased farmland on the Catlins Coast that is home to 10 per cent of yellow-eyed penguins on mainland New Zealand.

The purchase of 50 hectares of land at Long Point, together with existing DOC reserves, means that 12 kilometres of this coastline are now protected. This is home to nearly 50 breeding pairs of penguins.

Steve Chadwick says securing this habitat for yellow-eyed penguins is a major victory for conservation, and highlights the Labour-led government’s commitment to protecting a wide range of our native species and habitat.

Making the announcement at Long Point today, Ms Chadwick congratulated the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust for the key role it played in the process.

“The Trust raised $450,000 in just six weeks through a public appeal to help buy this land, proving the importance of the yellow-eyed penguin both to Trust members and to local people who contributed to the fundraising.

“This land is a prime penguin habitat, and it also supports New Zealand fur seals, New Zealand sea lions, numerous species of seabirds, rare coastal plants, small remnants of native forest and an archaeological site.

“It’s a stunning part of the picturesque Catlins coastline, which will now have better access and protection for existing animal and plant life. It also has the potential for habitat restoration and for reintroducing sea bird species.”

Long Point will be managed both by DOC and the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust. The Trust is a well established community conservation organisation with more than 20 years experience in penguin research, population monitoring, and habitat restoration.


ENDS

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