The Tawaki Trust is the continuation and extension of the Tawaki Project, which started as a scientific investigation of the ecology and population dynamics of the Fiordland penguin or tawaki across the species breeding range along the southwest coast of New Zealand’s South Island. Starting off with little resources but a lot of determination and passion, the Tawaki Project not only gathered a lot of information about the species essential to improve its protection. Thanks to the Tawaki Project’s work, the species’ threat ranking was down listed by the IUCN redlist. This will ultimately be the goal of the trust – improve the protection of all crested penguins – tawaki – in New Zealand.
The purposes of the trust are as follows:
- Implement and support conservation, research, advocacy and education projects related to tawaki/crested penguins;
- Encourage, guide and assist restoration and conservation projects in relation to tawaki;
- Improve the national and international threat ranking of tawaki;
- Educate, raise public awareness, and encourage community and stakeholder involvement in relation to the conservation values, protection and preservation of tawaki;
- Facilitate and promote kaitiakitanga with respect to tawaki;
- Promote tawaki as sentinels for changes in the oceans including climate change or commercial fishing practices in the high seas;