Friday, January 11, 2008

Stewart Island penguins fighting to survive

Just six of 25 yellow-eyed penguin chicks hatched in monitored areas of Stewart Island had survived so far this summer, the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust said.

The island's penguin population faces an uncertain future after a devastating breeding season last summer in which all 33 chicks being monitored died. Breeding rates have been plummeting since monitoring began four years ago.

The chicks all appeared to be starving, and some had lesions in their mouths, which indicated the disease diphtheritic stomatitis - one of two diseases that killed chicks in the past.


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