Little Penguins - Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife Australia - FNPW

Lion Island Little Penguin

monitoring and habitat restoration project

  • YEAR: 2021
  • STATE: New South Wales
  • FOCUS AREAS: Growing Parks/Saving Species/SDG 14 : Life below water/SDG 15: Life on Land/SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals

There is a lack of current data on the breeding success and health of the Little Penguin population at Lion Island more generally. This information is of importance as the population is a satellite population of the Manly Endangered Little Penguin Population, and health and breeding status can indicate wider population trends in Little Penguins in the Sydney area.
The project will conduct the following monitoring activities to address the above problems- microchipping and weighing adult birds, monitoring egg/chick success in natural and artificial burrows.

FNPW support

This project is supported by AGA (Aktionsgemeinschaft Artenschutz) – a long term supporter of FNPW who is committed to supporting threatened species projects.

Project overview

The November 2018 wildfire on Lion Island and subsequent fire-fighting efforts resulted in the loss of natural burrows on Lion Island. This wildfire instigated the installation of 20 artificial burrows on the island to provide supplementary habitat.

The burrows are designed to be predator-proof and have not been tested in the field elsewhere. The take-up and success of the burrows on Lion Island is important to understand as it will inform the use of these burrows for other Little Penguin populations in Australia.

There is also a lack of current data on the breeding success and health of the Little Penguin population at Lion Island more generally. This information is of importance as the population is a satellite population of the Manly Endangered Little Penguin Population, and health and breeding status can indicate wider population trends in Little Penguins in the Sydney area.

The program will conduct the following monitoring activities to address the above problems- microchipping and weighing adult birds, monitoring egg/chick success in natural and artificial burrows.

The project will, also address the emerging and ongoing threat to penguin breeding habitat from weed incursions.

Ongoing bush regeneration work is essential in maintaining and improving the habitat and habitat suitability for little penguins on the island.
The specific aims of these activities include:
1. Determine the abundance of the Lion Island Little Penguin population.
2. Determine the breeding success and the number of breeding pairs of the population, so the population remains viable.
3. To determine the level of interaction between the penguin populations at Manly and other nearby monitored colonies
4. To determine the success of the new artificial burrows. The findings from ongoing monitoring will inform the use of the burrows on other penguin colony locations.
5. Monitor the population in the post-􀂦re environment and maintain community expectation that NPWS and the NSW
State Government are committed to the continued monitoring of the population
6. Reduce weed densities and improve the quality of penguin breeding habitat on the island.

Expected outcomes for the project:
– Increased knowledge of Lion Island population health and abundance
– Increased understanding of relationship with Manly population and indication of wider ecosystem trends
– Inform use and success of artificial burrows
– Decreased weed densities and improved habitat

Penguins - Grants for Nature Conservation - FNPW

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY

FNPW supports projects across Australia. In the spirit of reconciliation we acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture.

Little Penguins - Conservation Grants - FNPW

PROGRESS OF THIS PROJECT

The project is ongoing and was funded by FNPW in 2021.

Image courtesy of NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service

PROJECT PARTNERS

NSW National Parks & Wildlife Services is the lead organisation for this project.

Further information about our project partner can be found on their website:

https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/

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