Yellow-eyed penguin threats assessed

An assessment of yellow-eyed penguin threats could speed up a recovery plan for the endangered bird.

The Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust this week presented a review, two years in the making, of the threats to the species and providing recommendations for their conservation.

Its author, trust conservation science adviser Trudi Webster, said it would speed up the process of a long-awaited new recovery plan.

A meeting would be held in the next month with the trust and stakeholders such as the Department of Conservation and Ngai Tahu to discuss the plan, but when it would be finished was uncertain, she said.

Urgent recommendations included putting more observers on set-netting boats and addressing unexplained penguin deaths around the Otago coast, Dr Webster said.

Longer-term recommendations were more difficult to implement, such as the effect of sea temperature rise.

Action was needed immediately as the birds were at a critical point, she said.

About 250 breeding pairs exist on the New Zealand mainland.

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