Phillip Island is home to Australia's largest colony of little penguins, with an impressive 40,000 breeding penguins found on the Summerland Peninsula. The little penguin is not only the smallest of all penguins weighing around 1kg but also the only penguin with blue and white feathers.
Little penguins are top ocean predators, playing an important role in the marine ecosystem food web, and a valuable indicator species with changes in their population alerting us to changes in ocean health, such impacts to prey they eat.
Given little penguins live both at sea and on land, it is critically important for marine scientists to better understand the implications of marine and terrestrial threats to little penguins including commercial fishing operations, ingestion and entanglement of plastics and marine debris, oil spills, climate change, introduced predators, habitat destruction and invasive weeds in order to protect them.
Did you know?
Little Penguins weigh just under 1 kilogram, with males generally slightly heavier than females.
What your money helps fund
A Safe Island Haven
Phillip Island is completely fox-free, which provides a haven safe from introduced predators for little penguins to breed. However, they still remain vulnerable to human activities such as habitat disturbance, artificial light at night, marine debris, overfishing, plastic pollution and feral cats.
Phillip Island Nature Parks works hard to provide a sanctuary for little penguins. Nature Parks rangers protect them through predator control programs, habitat restoration and management, education programs, regular beach cleans to remove plastic debris and rehabilitation through the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.
Research and Monitoring
Phillip Island Nature Parks conducts ongoing scientific research studies and monitoring activities to better understand the implications of local and global threats to little penguins and protect them well into the future.
Did you know?
438 Little Penguins were affected by the last major oil spill near Phillip Island in 2001. Of those, 96% were successfully saved with the help of penguin jumpers, rehabilitated at the Wildlife Clinic and released back into the wild.