Finding Little Blue

Citizen Science Penguin Project


From street hip hop to bush bashing

A keen group of girls from Tansi Productions School of Entertainment went out to Urenui beach where they found out just how much rubbish people throw straight in to penguin habitats.  While they only managed to clean up around the penguins burrows and around to the boat ramp, they still collected 3 massive bags of rubbish – plus a tyre and a hiking stick!

The girls also searched for potential natural penguins burrows, predator footprints and learned that the rock walls were build to prevent erosion but could have been terrible for penguins if they were not thought about, which is why the ramps are there (not for boats!).

To top off the productive day, they found some weird looking “dog toys”, which turned out to be Basket Fungus (Ileodictyon cibarium) – which apparently you can eat when they’re smaller. Yum?

 The group did a great job cleaning up the place and learning just how easy it is to walk past so much rubbish because we can’t see it on the other side of the fence and in the bush.  A build up of rubbish can block pathways from the sea to the burrows ,and even block up burrow entrances so they can’t get in or out (this has happened to chicks at Mount Mounganui).

Thank you to Urenui Beach Camp for letting us help clean up, to Ngaati Mutunga for checking the the rubbish bags hadn’t flown away and to the TPSE girls and dance mum, Jo for doing such a great job!


Girl Guides clean up Nga Motu Beach

“Girls from Merrilands Pippins and Merrilands Brownies went to Ngā Motu Beach in New Plymouth to clean up rubbish – to help ensure the Little Blue Penguin was safe.  We had a Marine Biologist, Elvisa, the Project Coordinator from “Finding Little Blue” talk to us and show us their natural habitat and some man-made nesting boxes for them. We found out what threatens them and what we can do to help! Here are the results of our rubbish collection. Not so good  … We will be back and continue to clean the beach up to protect our local wildlife and help the Ngā Motu Marine Reserve Society keep this beach clean.”
– Merrilands Girl Guides (18.10.18)