A man spots a creature with yellow piercing eyes in the thicket on the South Island of New Zealand! He hears a “loud trumpet” noise of the animal.
He was crawling through the tangled vegetation and mud of the brush to get a better look. And prepares traps for the creature.
Suddenly, it pops out of the leaves and there it was!
This was one of the cutest animal’s he had ever seen! It had a small body of only 65cm high, yellow eyes, and webbed feet. It also had a yellow headband around the crown of its cute little head.
This was a Yellow-Eyed Penguin and she had a chick by her side.
Fergus Sutherland, a researcher for BirdLife International, was studying how many nests remain on Enderby Island, part of the Auckland Island group Southwest of South Island in New Zealand. He studied the conditions of the declining yellow-eyed penguin populations with camera traps that he had set up in a thicket of native flax leaves.
Unfortunately, the nests have been declining. Last year there were only about 12 nests when normally there were around 20 nests.
The marine environment had and is continually being destroyed, when the Penguins show up starved and injured on the beach. Trawlers and dredging are still destroying the delicate marine environment that house squid and fish for the penguin’s diet.
The land had and is being destroyed as well, as the penguins continue to look for brush and forests that are still left on the islands. Human populations cut down their habitat for farms and buildings.
But the good news is that Fergus discovered on camera, the first juvenile after 2 years of not seeing any, walking through the thickets. Birdlife has set aside this area as an important Bird & Biodiversity area for these cute and special penguins.