Sorry, your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

Microsoft no longer supports Internet Explorer. Please download their replacement Edge or another modern browser such as Chrome, Safari or Firefox. This site will not be fully functional using Internet Explorer.

Little penguin 2013 census results

News release
21 August 2014

Natural Resources Kangaroo Island staff with the assistance of community volunteers and the KI Penguin Centre, have been monitoring the Kingscote penguin populations on the island since 2006. Increased funding in recent years from Friends of Dudley Peninsula Parks and Natural Resources Adelaide Mount Lofty Ranges has enabled the census to be expanded to an additional eight colonies across the island.

The results of the 2013 penguin census is now available and indicate the following:• The total penguin population at the nine colonies surveyed was estimated to be 566 breeding adults. This represents a 41% decline from 966 penguins in 2012 and a 58% decline from 1348 in 2011.• Penguin numbers have decreased by 44–100% at all surveyed colonies over the past two years.• Kangaroo Island’s largest colony at Kingscote was estimated at 154 breeding adults, down 48% from the previous year and 82% since the population peak in 2007.

The reasons for these declines in little penguin numbers are unclear, although there are several possible causes including human interference, habitat loss and predation by domestic, feral and native animals.

There are a number of collaborative research programs just completed or underway in South Australia led by the South Australian Research and Development Institute and Flinders University investigating terrestrial predation of penguins by native and feral animals and the disease status of penguins. It is important to await publication of the results of these studies before considering management responses.

Natural Resources Kangaroo Island would like to thank all the volunteers who have assisted with the census. Without their help the monitoring programme would not have been possible. I

If you would like to volunteer for this year's Kingscote penguin census please contact the natural resources centre.

You can find out more information about Kangaroo Island's little penguins.