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Deep dive into penguin life this Seaweek

DRACO FRONT PIP DAVE BACK NAQ Penguins Feb 2024 8Kororā are a precious resident of Napier and sharing information about them and their needs is an important part of this year’s Seaweek.

Seaweek Kaupapa Moana is New Zealand’s annual national week celebrating the sea. This year Seaweek runs from 2-10 March.

Amy Stevens, Education Manager at the National Aquarium of New Zealand, is keen to see people of all ages get involved in Seaweek’s activities and events, including a Royal Society Lecture by Professor John Cockrem PhD of Massey University, New Zealand’s leading expert on little penguins.

“We have a penguin rehabilitation centre here at the National Aquarium where abandoned chicks, victims of dog attacks, or kororā that have become sick in the wild can come and get the help they need from our specialist staff,” explains Amy. “So we are really excited to bring Professor Cockrem here to speak about the biology and conservation of little penguins.”

Kororā (little penguins) are declining and have disappeared from many locations around New Zealand coastlines. Every year many are injured or killed by dogs, cats and other animals.

“The more we all understand our penguin community the better. With many penguin habitats located across Hawke’s Bay, Professor Cockrem’s research will provide excellent insight for Hawke’s Bay locals to understand the challenges Korora face in the wild,” says Amy.

Professor John Cockrem presents his lecture on Tuesday 5 March, 6pm (doors open from 5.30pm) at the National Aquarium of New Zealand. Entry is by gold coin donation.

More about Seaweek:
Seaweek 2024 presents a range of events and activities. The week is coordinated by the Sir Peter Blake Marine Education and Recreation Centre (MERC), and is made possible through the work of a large network of volunteers with support from a wide range of individuals, groups, businesses and organisations.

This year a wide range of events is on offer including beach clean-ups, art exhibitions, and hands-on activities for children such as becoming a water scientist for the evening. Learn more.

More information about Professor John Cockrem:
Professor John Cockrem will describe the biology of the kororā, and the conservation status and current threats to the species from human activities and from climate change. He will present studies of the annual cycle, breeding biology, and feeding, and show results from at-sea tracking of individuals. Professor Cockrem began penguin field work more than 30 years ago with Adelie and emperor penguins in Antarctica. His recent work is focussed on studies of kororā to contribute to kororā conservation, together with advocacy for kororā. He has established nestbox colonies at Napier Port and on Mana Island and, working with community groups, in Tasman Bay, Golden Bay and Waiheke Island.

12 March 2024

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