Finding Little Blue

Citizen Science Penguin Project

Devon Intermediate

Term 3 - Citizen Scientists

A group of 12 citizen scientists at Devon Intermediate have also been working on ways to develop monitoring technology for penguin burrows in the Nga Motu beach area.  Thanks to Andy from Port Taranaki, the young scientists were treated to a tour around the port where they observed the colony of fur seals just behind the port – a special close encounter with the beautiful animals! 

While the penguins were out fishing at sea during the day, the students investigated the man-made concrete burrows they will be monitoring remotely with the technology they have been trialing with Andrew from Bright Sparks.  They have researched and learned about our local threats to little blues which they found were mainly coastal development in their natural habitats, dog attacks and stoats eating their eggs.  They also played a game called “Penguin Pathways” which allowed them to see how it feels to be a penguin trying to find its way back to its burrow with so many threats in the way.

They have also learned how to use the citizen science platform app iNaturalist where they can submit footprints of penguins, predators or evidence of other wildlife and contribute to world wide data collection!

While the qualified scientists are getting ready to install their technology in to the burrows, the students are now brainstorming ways they can help reduce dog attacks and educate the wider public on how we can all contribute to the protection of our Taranaki Little Blues.