Conservation

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Protecting penguins and their habitat Ranger at Summerland Peninsula

Since the early 1900s, nine out of ten little penguin colonies on Phillip Island have become extinct - in large part due to habitat loss and the devastation caused by introduced predators such as foxes. The Penguin Foundation funds environmental protection programs carried out by rangers from Phillip Island Nature Parks to eradicate foxes from Phillip Island and rehabilitate disturbed penguin habitat back to a natural state.
Donate to the Penguin Foundation today to support these conservation programs.

Since the early 1900s, nine out of ten little penguin colonies on Phillip Island have become extinct - in large part due to habitat loss and the devastation caused by introduced predators such as foxes. The Penguin Foundation funds environmental protection programs carried out by rangers from Phillip Island Nature Parks to eradicate foxes from Phillip Island and rehabilitate disturbed penguin habitat back to a natural state.

If you would like to support these conservation programs you may consider making a donation. 

 

Fox Free Phillip Island 

Thanks to assistance from donors, sponsors and grants including from the Ian Potter Foundation, less than 5 foxes are believed to remain on Phillip Island, with the ultimate aim to remove them all.

One fox can kill up to 30 penguins in one night. Foxes were introduced to Phillip Island in the early 1900s and numbers peaked at 200 foxes in the early 1980s. These high fox numbers posed a significant threat to the last remaining little penguin colony on the Summerland Peninsula as well as other native wildlife across the island. Since the program began, the fox population has been reduced from an estimated 60-80 individuals to under 5 individuals today.

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The Foundation contributes to the Fox Free Phillip Island program by funding the employment of a full-time Fox Manager, as well as supporting specialised fox detection dogs Jazz and Sam and funding the purchase of night vision equipment to detect foxes.

In 2011 the Fox Free Phillip Island program won a prestigious Banksia Environmental Award in the 'Land a Biodiversity - Preserving our Ecosystems' category. In 2012 the program was also recognised with a win at the Victorian Coastal Awards. As testament to the on-ground success of the program, no little penguin has been killed by a fox in the Summerland Peninsula colony on Phillip Island since 2009.

In 2014 the program received $192,500 from the Ian Potter Foundation to intensify efforts and work to remove the final est. 5 foxes from the island. If successful Phillip Island will be the largest island from which introduced red foxes have been removed.

Revegetating penguin habitat 

Phillip Island's last remaining little penguin colony on the Summerland Peninsula has undergone significant changes in the last 150 years. European settlement brought with it grazing and farming which dramatically altered the landscape. In the 1920s Summerland Peninsula was subdivided and 175 houses were built in the penguin colony across several decades. Land clearing, fire, domestic pets and traffic put significant pressure on the little penguins and dramatically altered the landscape. Conservation-summerland-peninsula-80s.JPG

In the 1980s the State Government initiated a land buyback scheme and all houses and infrastructure were removed by 2011. The land is now being returned to the little penguins through extensive revegetation partially supported by funding through the Penguin Foundation. 

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Housing being removed from Summerland Estate Revegetated Summerland Peninsula today