Kaikoura’s Little People Meet their Little Blue Neighbours
KORI had heaps of fun at our first PEAP (Penguin Education and Awareness Program) of 2021 guided by our two new interns Kasey and Meryl. We were fortunate to be visited by Kaikōura’s very own Kororā Club Kids Holiday Program which is run for 5 to 10 year olds so that they can get involved in their local community, make new friends, have fun and experience a different way of learning throughout the school holidays.
We aren’t sure who enjoyed themselves more, us or the kids…
During the PEAP Kororā Club’s little people were introduced to their little blue penguin neighbours with some fun facts. Kasey and Meryl were greeted with a few interesting questions from the kids, some of which already had accumulated some penguin facts from their parents – amazing! The group then headed under the Coastguard building to try and spy some of the South Bay colony going about their daily activities. Unfortunately, as it was during the day most of our adult penguins were out at sea fishing but we had fun guessing how many penguins might be in each nest box and learning more about their habitat.
Why KORI loves it when you take a PEAP
So, what actually is a PEAP? PEAP stands for Penguin Education and Awareness Program and the reason that KORI runs PEAPS is so that our local community, extended community and visitors from around the world can learn more about little blue penguins and in particular our South Bay colony.
Why? Because little blue penguins are declared as a species ‘At risk – declining’ by New Zealand’s Department of Conservation, with populations declining by around 60-70% since the 1960’s. Due to the fact that these little birds are found ONLY in New Zealand and South Australia we want to everything we can to protect them.
The Importance of Kaikōura’s South Bay Colony
In October 2019 KORI’s research team including Mena the Penguin Detective Dog undertook a study covering a 75km stretch of the Greater Kaikōura Coastline to uncover information on the distribution of little penguins along this region of potential habitat. The findings – there is only ONE single little penguin breeding colony in this entire stretch of coastline, namely, our precious colony at South Bay. With this small colony comprising 14 breeding pairs in the 2020/21 season, we are passionate about taking action and implementing the most appropriate conservation efforts to protect and grow the local penguin population.
The Power of Education
KORI believes in the power of education – if we do not know about the concerns or issues facing our local or extended environment and the wildlife that lives there, then how can we ever go about taking action to help resolve these issues? KORI aspires to translate the scientific findings of our research into more relatable terms for members of the public of all ages so that we can come together to care for and protect our local marine environment, including our little penguin neighbours.
January 2021 – Free Community PEAPS
For January 2021 KORI is excited to announce that we will be offering 3 free community PEAPS for Kaikoura residents so that they can get a deeper insight in to the goings on in their local marine community. These PEAPS will take place on the last 3 Sunday evenings of January 2021 (17th, 24th, 31st).
Here’s to a great 2021!