14 Jan 2017

Penguin nest not threatened by construction - DOC

8:31 am on 14 January 2017

The Department of Conservation (DOC) has met with contractors working at a carpark construction site at Southland's Curio Bay after concerns they were putting an endangered penguin at risk.

A yellow-eyed penguin.

A former DOC ranger has raised concerns about contractors working near a yellow-eyed penguin nest. Photo: Supplied

A former volunteer ranger for DOC spoke up this week after seeing trucks and bulldozers get within 10m of a yellow-eyed penguin nest next to the construction site.

The South Catlins Charitable Trust is building a multi-million dollar Natural Heritage Centre in coalition with the Department of Conservation as well as other local groups.

It is part of a push to have more infrastructure in the area, to help service the 100,000 visitors Curio Bay has every year.

DOC acting operations manager for the Murihiku district John McCarroll visited the construction site yesterday and said he believed the contractors had been taking precautions not to disturb or damage the nest.

He said the work would be moved 20m to 30m away.

After seeing the penguin and chick in their nest, Mr McCarroll said he believed they were doing well.

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