Yellow Eyed Penguin Nesting Boxes
Department of Conservation
Hoiho or Yellow Eyed Penguin are a taonga, unfortunately they are also an endangered native species that are in rapid decline. Their threatened status is due to combinations of habitat loss, disturbance, reduction in food sources, introduced predation and diseases. DOC contracted Habitat Restorations Aotearoa to design, cut, paint, cart and install nesting boxes for Hoiho on the Otago Peninsula. Hoiho are a sub-Antarctic ‘anti social’ penguin which requires cool nesting sites out of view from other breeding pairs. The purpose for installing nest boxes is to provide ‘instant habitat’ (shade from the sun, privacy from other penguins and protection from predators such as stoats, cats and ferrets.)
Nesting boxes were designed, and timber precut in order to make a triangular shaped strong and secure nest box to provide as much protection to the birds as possible. Installation was both stunning and challenging, the precut wood was carted on pack frames to suitable sites discussed between the DOC and HRA. Once carted to the prime spot, the ‘flatpack’ boxes were assembled and set into the environment. Later in the breeding season we had reports from the DOC hoiho monitoring team that our nest boxes had been chosen by some hoiho pairs to raise their chicks, this made the job extremely rewarding knowing our mahi had helped make a difference to the breeding population.