Our club heard from Ms Perviz Marker, seen at right with Rot’n Paul Kearney, on Monday 26th September. Perviz arrived in Burnie in 1990; “the little penguins keep me happy here”, she said.
The Little (or Fairy) Penguin is the only species of penguin that breeds in Australia. There are dozens of colonies scattered from the NSW North Coast, south to Tasmania, and west, to an island off Fremantle. Phillip Island (Victoria) is perhaps most well-known, with over 30,000 pairs. Perviz said only around one-third of all chicks survive.
Burnie’s colony at Parsonage Point is a real tourist drawcard; the 600 penguins there drew some 11,000 visitors to see them in 2017. The Friends of Burnie Penguins, a volunteer organisation, started in 2004, runs tours at dusk every night during the six months – October to March – each year. There are 35 volunteers at present.
There is now a live, continuous YouTube video showing the insides of some burrows in the Burnie colony. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhLQp6XxWt4
Treasurer David Bennett handed Perviz a donation from Burnie Rotary Club to aid the Friends of Burnie Penguins.