See the Book

  Meet the Author

  Little Penguins


  Learn More

Little Penguins

The Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor) is the smallest of all the world's 17 species of penguins.  An adult weights about 1 Kg (2.2 pounds) and is approximately 30 cm (12") tall.  Other names you will hear it called are the Fairy Penguin and Blue Penguin (New Zealand) because of the colour of its feathers.  The penguins are streamlined with their wings acting as flippers.  The upper head and back are covered by dark blue feathers and the underside by thicker/softer snowy white ones.  Their eyes are dark grey.

Manly's Little Penguins are the only New South Wales mainland colony, and as such are considered as an endangered colony and were given protection by the NSW Department of Environment and Conservation under the Threatened Species Act in 1997.  Members of the Manly community raised concerns about the slow loss of penguins in the colony.  Fifty years ago there were known to be around 300 penguins but the colony became almost depleted with just 35 penguins by the early 1990s.  Other causes for the decimation of the colony included habitat loss, dog attacks, shooting and disturbances to their nesting sites.

Today there are approximately 50 - 60 breeding pairs in the Manly Colony.  The penguins are not captive but wild birds.  Unlike other penguin colonies, Manly penguins do not come into their burrows at set times and are not considered 'tourist attractions'.

The Little Penguins spend the first 2-3 years of their life at sea and eventually return to breed between July and March.  The average life span of a Little Penguin is about 8 years although in captivity they can live significantly longer.

Some Links

Manly Little Penguins Volunteer Program
Taronga Zoo
Manly Environment Centre
Little Penguins
Little Penguins in Sydney Harbour
Little Penguins in Manly

© Copyright 2014 M. P. Grace