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Little Penguins use of Perth metropolitan waters exposes them to risk of injury from watercraft

Cannell, B., Bradley, S., Wooller, R., Ropert-Coudert, Y. and Kato, A. (2007) Little Penguins use of Perth metropolitan waters exposes them to risk of injury from watercraft. In: Fourth Biennial Australasian Ornithological Conference, 3 - 5 December, Perth, Western Australia.


The rapid growth of urban areas near Little Penguin colonies on Penguin and Garden islands in Perth, Western Australia, potentially increases their exposure to various threats. To identify the possible range of threats at sea, the foraging ranges and diving behaviour of the penguins have been studied. From radio tracking Penguin Island penguins and satellite tracking those from both islands, we found they generally remained within a 20 km radius of their colony during breeding. Using time depth recorders, we found the penguins travelled in the top 2m, and some penguins preferentially dived within the top 4 m. The bays used by the penguins are also used extensively for recreational and commercial activities such as fishing, boating, water skiing and windsurfing. Results of autopsies of Little Penguins showed many had injuries that were likely to be caused by watercraft.

Item Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
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