Over the past ten years I have assisted the Penguin Wardens who volunteer to look after the Little Penguins who live around Manly in Sydney. It has been a battle to help this last remaining colony on mainland NSW survive.
Small, shy, mostly black and nocturnal makes photographing Little Penguins is difficult in the extreme. Each season I try to capture their lives as they set up nests, raise their chicks and daly fight for survival. All this pain has been more than worth it on a few occasions where my photos have made all the difference.
Unfortunately garbage is a constant threat for all wildlife and unfortunately mankind seems to be forever thoughtless in the way we dumping it into nature. Fishing line is particularly dangerous as it can entangle animals and led to a slow, terrible death.
Twice now I have discovered penguin chicks entangled in fishing line. Once the Wardens noticed that Mr Stickybeak and Mrs Silverwing chick had started to limp but no one could work out why? I was finally able to make some good quality photographs only to discover to my horror that the chicks feet were entangled in fishing line. Another time a chick’s head was entangled in very fine fishing line.
On both occasions the Penguin Wardens along with Silke and Paul from Australian Seabird Rescue were then able to intervene and remove the entanglements. It is a wonderful outcome and such a privilege to have made a difference, even if it is to just one Little Penguin.
I am in awe of the real hero’s in all this who are the Penguin Wardens and wildlife rescue volunteers – who do this day after day without much thanks and at great personal cost.
Cameras for Conservation