Hello friends and family
Over the weekend, change was triggered in the penguins’ behaviour. We found 10 new moulters on Sunday morning and the chicks have started to fledge. We opened the soft release pen on Sunday and by Monday, all 4 chicks had gone. By Tuesday, there was only 11 chicks left between both colonies.
Most of the moulters are looking great so far. We will keep a close watch on them to make sure that they do not get emaciated as their moult progresses. On Monday morning I took the blood samples down to Noi at the university and she had the results back to us by the afternoon – one positive for Malaria out of the 2 sent.
On Thursday, Robbie, Elaine and I were joined by Jason and Megan. There were only 3 chicks left down the hill here and 2 at the Moeraki colony. We took a pair of moulting penguins from the public area of the historic reserve and put them in the soft release tent. We re-tested both Mrs 70 and chick 70 – both had no visible Malaria, but the new Juvie did have it. Mrs 70 now has an infection.
We found a new juvie moulter which is always exciting. It had been in care during the winter but fattened up enough to moult in the wild – a success story
Yesterday was a reminder of how precious and vulnerable these penguins are. A fledgling was found on the Moeraki boat ramp with fatal injuries, and we picked up a dead 3 year old, with no wounds at all. We suspect Malaria.
Have a great week!