Nature of Science: Tracking Blue Penguins

Discover Kororā, the Blue Penguin, in their natural habitat at Pukekura.

Find out how Blue penguins are adapted for  life at sea and why they return to Pukekura most nights. The students will learn about penguin ecology and conservation issues and then take on the role of a penguin scientists to look at ways to collect valuable scientific information about numbers, behaviours, and ways to better manage the population at Pukekura. Students will be involved in monitoring plant and other wildlife in the reserve and helping with some habitat restoration. Schools are invited donate and plant coastal native species in the reserve.

This programme may be combined with the Blue Penguin Evening Tour (addition cost), where students will see the penguins return to Pukekura after a day feeding at sea and surry up to their burrows in the hillside. Please note the tour starts at dusk, so the start time varies from 5:30 – 7:45 pm depending on the time of year.

Time: 2 hours (Programme Available: April – September only) Bookings Essential – programme doesn’t include Blue Penguin viewing.
Age Focus: Years 4 – 8 (may be adapted for secondary)
Curriculum Area: Nature of Science (Levels 2-4, Investigating in Science, Participating and Contributing), Science (Level 2-4, Living World), Social Sciences (Level 3).
Cost: $4/person (please note the Blue Penguin Tour, if combined with the education programme is an additional $5/person) The Blue Penguin tour last 1 hour – 1 hour 15  minutes. Spaces are limited.

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Time Activity
0 Min Education Room (30 min)

  • Programme objectives
  • Blue Penguin ecology
  • Tracking Research
0:30 Min Display Area (30 min)

  • Blue Penguin scavenger hunt
  • Design of penguin nest boxes

Blue Penguin conservation game

1:00 Pilots Beach (45 min)

  • Observations of nesting habitat
  • 5 min bird count

habitat restoration (weeding etc.)

1:45 Education Room (15 min)

  • Discussion of tracking research and conservation issues