Penguins

Regionally Little Penguins can be found at Phillip Island and St Kilda, there are also some small colonies on islands in the bay.

Little Penguins are nocturnal and generally come ashore around dusk and leave before dawn.  It is not normal for them to be seen on the beach during the day, call our hotline on 0412 433 727 if you see one on the beach during the day.

Does A Penguin Need Your Help?

  • Entanglement – in fishing line and plastic waste can hinder their hunting ability and entanglements need to be removed – this penguin needs rescue and rehabilitation – call our hotline.
  • On the beach during the day – penguins are nocturnal and if seen during the day need assessment and rescue – call our hotline.
  • Chased, Caught by Dog, Cat or Fox – this penguin needs rescue and care – call our hotline.
  • Moult – penguins moult (replace their feathers) annually and if they leave their burrow before the moult is complete they are not waterproof.  If they have not been able to fatten up sufficiently prior to entering their burrow for the 17 days the moult takes they may leave early or be undernourished and weak when they leave.  If on the beach or being seen during the day on their own or in an area not normally seen please call the hotline – assessment and rescue is required.

Phillip Island penguins generally moult from mid February while the St Kilda ones have been recorded as commencing moult as early as mid January.  They can be found on our beaches from mid January until April and need rescue and care.

 What Not To Do

Never, ever chase or force penguins to enter the water.

What You Can Do

Stress can be fatal and Little Penguins are easily stressed, keep children and pets away.  They need to be removed from stressful situations and taken into specialised care as quickly as possible.

If you have seen a penguin that needs help and want to ‘rescue’ it before calling AWARE, your nearest Wildlife Organisation or taking it to a vet please follow these guidelines:

  • Use a towel to line a ventilated box, or basket with a lid, to transport the penguin in – never line the transport container with newspaper.
  • Wrap the penguin gently and loosely in a towel to it pick up.
  • Gently place the loosely wrapped penguin into the ventilated box.
  • These penguins need to be kept warm but should never have heat placed underneath them.  Ideally they should be transported at 21 celcius. ie Warm, Dark & Quiet.
  • Call AWARE or your nearest wildlife shelter/group or take to a vet quickly and quietly, car radio off, no smoking and no children or pets!

Who To Call

  • Around Port Phillip Bay, St Kilda, Frankston area call the AWARE hotline on 0412 433 727.
  • Mornington Peninsula, Balnarring, Dromana areas call Klarissa Garnaut 0488 494667 or AWARE or take to Main Ridge Vet Clinic.
  • For Hobsons Bay/Geelong Area call BADGAR on 1300 223427 or Mandy Hall 0421 471 007

Other Useful Numbers And References

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