Does a Penguin Need Your Help?
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.
A penguin may need your help due to:
- Entanglement – penguins who become entangled in fishing line and plastic waste need rescue and rehabilitation, as their hunting ability may be hindered. Please call our hotline.
- On the beach during the day – penguins are nocturnal and if seen during the day need assessment and rescue. Please call our hotline.
- Chased and caught by dog, cat or fox – these penguins needs rescue and care. Please 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. Please call our hotline if you sight a penguin on the beach, during the day on their own, or in an area not normally seen, as assessment and rescue is required.
|Phillip Island penguins (left) 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 chase or force penguins to enter the water.
What You Can Do
Stress can be fatal and Little Penguins are easily stressed. They need to be removed from stressful situations and taken into specialised care as quickly as possible. Please keep children and pets away.
If you have seen a penguin that needs help and want to ‘rescue’ it before calling AWARE, your nearest Wildlife Organisation or 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.
- Ideally these penguins should be kept in a warm, dark and quiet environment, but should never have heat placed underneath them. The ideal temperature for transportation is 21 degrees celsius.
- Call AWARE, your nearest wildlife shelter/group or take to a vet quickly and quietly. During transportation please turn off your car radio and refrain from smoking. We would prefer if you were not accompanied by children or pets.
Who to Call
Around Port Phillip Bay, St Kilda and Frankston areas
Call the AWARE hotline on 0412 433 727