Six yellow-eyed penguins die in Otago

The Department of Conservation (DoC) is investigating the unexplained deaths of six adult yellow-eyed penguins and has stepped up its monitoring of Otago penguin sites.

The adult population of hoiho is 260 breeding pairs, which is the lowest number in 25 years.

DoC Coastal Otago operations manager Annie Wallace said although adult deaths were not unusual, the department was taking precautions to prevent a repeat of 67 adult penguin deaths in 2013.

She said any orphaned chicks had been taken to rehabilitation centres along the Otago coastline for supplementary feeding.