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Fairy Penguins - Australia's Smallest Tourist Attraction

BY EARTHFIRST

Whilst Fairy penguins are not on the endangered list, yet, we thought it would be important to bring awareness to these amazing little creatures on EarthFirst.

Fairy penguins are the smallest species of penguin; being approximately 33-40 cm high and weighing less than 1 kg. They are predominately found on the southern shores of Australia and New Zealand. 

They are equal opportunity birds as both parents share the job of incubating the eggs, which take 36 days to mature. The chicks are fed by both parents for around three weeks and then watched for another month at which time they are ready to waddle away to live their own lives. They tend to return to the same place every year to breed and live for an average of seven years.

Seasonal changes, natural disasters and predators have caused some of the penguin colonies to become extinct over the years. The biggest threat to Fairy penguins are predators including foxes, dogs, ferrets, stoats and sharks. Cars have also killed little penguins as some penguins live in coastlines near urban areas and have to cross the road to get to their burrows.

Some people ignorantly think that they would make great pets, ignoring the fact that it’s illegal. If you love them you can visit them at the zoo or go to one of the many penguin colonies around Australia. Including Summerland Beach on Phillip Island, which is only a two hour drive from Melbourne, or Bicheno on the east coast of Tasmania. The tours are conducted at dusk, which is the ideal time to see the penguins in action as they swin back to the shore and do what penguins do!

What do you think?


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