Volunteer Penguin Warden Scheme
In 2005 National Parks called for volunteers from local community and from wildlife carer organisation to help establish a team of people for the 2005/6 breeding season following destruction of nests and eggs on a couple of beaches plus predation of penguins by dogs.Manly Wharf and Federation Point became focal points for crowd control over public holidays – penguins were made known in local press and crowds wanting to see the Penguins have increased. Initially Penguin Wardens were overwhelmed by numbers of people, the lack of proper barriers or signage to prevent access to the penguins whilst in their burrows. After a dog attack and death on one chick at the wharf, the Penguins Wardens commenced a program of increased public awareness and the establishment of regular nightly patrols to watch over penguins at Wharf.
Aims of Volunteer Penguin Warden Scheme:
The aim of the Penguin Warden scheme is to ensure that the penguins can breed in safety and
away from human or dog interference. The wardens try and ensure:
- Patrol of beaches and Penguin breeding areas – prevent dogs being on beaches and unleashed
within 50 metres of penguin nesting areas.
- Prevent contact with penguins or nesting areas.
- Prevent use of flash photography of penguins.
- Educate and inform public about penguins and draw attention to Council and NPWS regulations
regarding dogs, boating, interference with penguins and fishing.
The volunteer penguin wardens patrol critical areas nightly from the beginning of the season when the first penguins are noted to have come back in to their burrows. Temporary signage and barriers have been erected by volunteers in an effort to protect the birds whilst they are nesting and prevent unleashed dogs and public from getting too close to the birds or disturbing their nests. Manly Council recently installed permanent steel gates and adequate signage.