Volunteer time for Granite Island little penguin census

COUNT US: With the little penguin population on Granite Island dwindling, this year's census could be the most important to date. Photo: File.
COUNT US: With the little penguin population on Granite Island dwindling, this year's census could be the most important to date. Photo: File.

Flinders University and local enthusiasts are calling on locals and visitors to help with what could be the most important Granite Island little penguin census yet.

The Granite Island colony has been trying to recover from devastating fox attacks which occurred last year.

From 44 birds counted in the 2018 census, the population dropped to just 16 in the 2020 census - the lowest number ever recorded on the island.

This year's census is crucial and may help make some important decisions to save the penguins on Granite Island.

Fit people who are 18 years or older are encouraged to get involved with the comprehensive check of the island which is scheduled for 10am on Friday, October 8.

Participants must register with Flinders University before the day by contacting Animal Behaviour Lecturer and Penguin Ecologist Dr Diane Colombelli-Negrel.

Flyers with full details are available at the Victor Harbor Visitor Centre and DEW office.

After the census, brief training sessions will be offered to locals who wish to join the ongoing volunteer group which monitors little penguins throughout the year.

This group offers, in pairs, one or two nights a month to record the number of birds seen and other details to Granite Island's wildlife.

This monitoring, organised by Flinders University and DEW, has been taking place for nearly 20 years.

To register for the census or the night volunteer program (or both), email diane.colombelli-negrel@flinders.edu.au.

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