Using state-of-the art GPS dive loggers and novel cameras we're determine where tawaki go at sea and how deep they dive...
What we do
What we do
The Tawaki Trust is the logical continuation of the Tawaki Project, which was founded in 2014 by Thomas Mattern and Ursula Ellenberg. At that stage, tawaki (Fiordlad penguins) were an enigma even though it was one of three penguin species that live and breed on the NZ mainland. Very little was known about the species and it was assumed that it was one of the rarest penguin species with just 3,000 breeding pairs left. Since it’s first field season 2014/15, the Tawaki Project has helped to gain a significantly better understanding of the species. the project work resulted in the IUCN redlist improving the of tawaki/Fiordland penguins threat status from ‘vulnerable’ to ‘near threatened’ in 2020.
New Zealand hosts four of the world’s seven crested penguin species (‘tawaki’), many of which are as ranked as threatened as tawaki/Fiordland penguins once were. And most of them as little known and understudied as tawaki were before the Tawaki Project started. The first step to improve those species threat rankings is to look at those species. The basic questions we need to address are: How many are there? Are their numbers increasing or declining? What are the causes for these developments? And what can we do to help those species.
The ultimate goal is to see all our crested penguins threat rankings improved.
A brilliant project that excels with science communication
as well as top-notch research. Well worth supporting.
NZ Geoscience Society
Fantastic project and story, beautifully told!
West Coast Penguin Trust
Thank you for all the work you do with the Tawaki Penguins.
It is amazing the lengths you all go to to follow & find them. Thank you!