Friday, December 15, 2006

Guard dogs protect penguins

PENGUIN numbers at Warrnambool's Middle Island have tripled after a world-first trial in which a Maremma guard dog was placed on the island to protect the penguins during their breeding season.

The dog swam off the island on Wednesday after becoming homesick, but she had already played a large part in helping the little penguins survive.

A recent count showed 70 penguins had visited the island this year and it was believed there were about 20 chicks.

Last year only 27 were counted.

Owner of the Maremma dog, Allan Marsh, said he didn't believe foxes had been anywhere near the island since his dog, Oddball, arrived there a month ago.

He said foxes were after an easy feed and would stear clear of an area where they could smell a threat like Oddball.

No comments: