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Australia

Penguin species and distribution areas

The species of the genus Little Blue Penguin (Eudyptula) are the only penguin species living on the Australian continent. Here you can meet Little Blue Penguins and the White-flippered Penguin that is a subspecies of the Little Blue or a distinct species, depending on different opinions of different scientists. Their breeding sites are mainly on the southern coast of Australia.

Climate of Australia

The climate in Australia is manifold. That is why the continent is divided into many different climate zones. A large part of the continent is desert, but also grassland and rain forests are present. The population areas of Little Blue Penguins are in subtropical and temperate climate zones. For example, the maximal temperature in Melbourne is on average 26°C in summer and the minimal temperature in winter is 7°C.

Nesting sites

Little Blue Penguins nest in caves at the beach which are burrowed in dunes. At other places they nest in crevices or hollows in the ground. In towns, Little Blue Penguins use the gardens of citizens as nesting sites but the citizens are not amused about that.

Conservation status and threats

According to the IUCN, Little Blue Penguins are classified as "least concern" but the population trend is declining. Especially in cities it was observed that the number of breeding pairs is decreasing. Many of these penguins fall victim to introduced animals like cats, dogs and foxes. Another problem is the great amount of waste in the cities. In water, penguins often collide with speedboats.

Protection

To protect Little Blue Penguins some organisations were founded and many people help with their voluntary work. Even snipers and sheep dogs were arranged to protect Little Blue Penguins from predators.

Tourist attraction

A special attraction for tourists is the nocturnal walk of Little Blue Penguins out of the ocean to their nest sites at the beach. You can observe this "penguin parade" on Phillip Island (southeasterly from Melbourne) which is supervised by organisations.


References:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Penguin
Climate data: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melbourne
http://taronga.org.au/animals/australian-little-penguin/feature


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