Little blue penguin is the vote of choice

  • Maggie Barry

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has cast her vote for the little blue penguin in Forest & Bird’s Seabird of the Year 2014.

“All of our marvellous seabirds deserve a vote but I’ve chosen to back the little blue. Although it’s the most common penguin around our coastlines, the species is in gradual decline,” says Ms Barry.

This year the annual poll to select New Zealand’s favourite bird is focusing on seabirds. Nearly half of the species that breed in New Zealand are in danger of becoming extinct.

This week, 29 little blue penguins were killed by a stoat or ferret at Doctors Point near Dunedin. 

“Our seabird species are constantly under threat from predators. The killing of so many blue penguins this week is a timely reminder of how ‘eco-invaders’ can devastate precious birdlife and local habitat,” says Ms Barry.

The Seabird of the Year poll runs until November 24 and the launch coincides with Conservation Week 2014.

“I encourage people to vote for the seabird they love the best. Forest & Bird’s excellent work in protecting seabird diversity is to be applauded,” says Ms Barry.

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