Little Penguins, culverts and coastal construction

Dr Eric Woehler1, Dr Philippa Agnew2, Regi Broeren1, Jill Jones1, Peter Vertigan1

1Birdlife Tasmania, , Australia, 2Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony, Oamaru, New Zealand


Little Penguins are a significant focus for commercial and non-commercial tourism throughout southern Australia and New Zealand. Breeding immediately behind the coast in burrows, under rocks and even using human infrastructures, penguins are vulnerable to the fragmentation and loss of coastal habitat from human activities. The recent sealing of a road and expansion of a car park for visitors to a penguin colony in southeastern Tasmania brought the Tasmanian Department of State Growth, Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service and BirdLife Tasmania together into a collaborative partnership, with construction and management of the site during construction. All aspects and decisions regarding the planning and construction were based on contemporary surveys and advice based on local and New Zealand expertise and experiences. Lessons were learned about the approach, and how to respond to unexpected outcomes during coastal construction.


Eric Woehler has been working on seabirds for 40 years.