The Yellow Eyed Penguin
Breeding populations of yellow-eyed and little blue penguins are found all along the coast where the giant kelp (rimurapa) protects the land (Papatuanuku) and the forests (Tane) from the violence of the sea (Tangaroa), and the inshore fish and invertebrates thrive in a rich, pollution-free environment.
The yellow-eyed penguins pair for life and always return to their favourite nesting site. They nest amongst the roots of forest trees or flax within calling range, but not in sight of, the next pair of birds.
Unfortunately, the penguins are prey to several predators. Stoats, cats and dogs are their worst enemies, and possums and rats have been known to take eggs from the nests.
Yellow-eyed penguins swim great distances and dive to extraordinary depths for food. There are only a few hundred of this rare penguin living on the Catlins coast.
Yellow-eyed penguins can be seen at Nugget Point and Curio Bay. There are several wildlife guides in the Catlins who are DOC concessionaires and who can take visitors to see them.
More in-depth information can be found on the Yellow-Eyed Penguin Trust website.