Beautiful. Inspiring. Under threat.

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Humans are killing penguins. Directly and indirectly. Penguins die in fishing nets, and in oil spills. They die when their food supply disappears. They die because of ineffective measures to control introduced predators. They die when their homes and habitat are destroyed. They die as the climate changes.

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Why are Yellow-eyed Penguins under threat?

Penguins once had a safe home in New Zealand. But no longer. The threats are many. Loss of habitat, attack from introduced predators, disease, pollution, even heat stress from loss of covering vegetation when breeding. And that’s just on land. There’s also bycatch in fishing nets to contend with and competing with fishers for a depleted supply of fish.

So how can you help?

New Zealand is home to more than 30% of all penguin species and half of these, like the Yellow-eyed Penguin, are found nowhere else in the world. Forest & Bird, BirdLife's partner in New Zealand, urgently need to create protected areas for penguins. On land this will include restoring native habitats, planting protective vegetation, carrying out effective introduced predator control, and providing individual, safe nesting boxes.

At sea it will be the establishment of marine reserves and strong regulations that minimise the impact of fishing on penguins, especially within foraging zones next to their breeding colonies.

Please protect a penguin today – your gift will help ensure they always have a safe home.

Photo credit

Main image credit: Yellow-Eyed: Luc Hoogenstein

King Penguin images: Tony Martin, Anne Dirkse/Flickr

Humboldt Penguin images: Simón Gatica, Silvia Pascual

African Penguin images: Adri Meyer, Ross Wanless, Jennifer Roberts

Southern Rockhopper Penguin images: Bobo Ling, Giedrius Stakauskas

Yellow-Eyed Penguin images: Craig McKenzie

(Other images are from Shutterstock)