Little Penguins are the smallest of all penguin species, standing at approximately 33cm tall. Little penguins breed in colonies along the southern coastlines of Australia and New Zealand. They are also known as Fairy Penguins or Blue Penguins.
While the thousands of penguins on Phillip Island near Melbourne are a tourist attraction, there is a much smaller population here in Sydney. In the past there were hundreds of little penguins in Sydney’s North Harbour. However, by the 1990s numbers were thought to be as low as 35 breeding pairs.
Due to a concentrated effort by National Parks and Wildlife Service, Office of Environment and Heritage, Manly Council, Manly Environment Centre, Taronga Zoo and the local community, there are now around 60–70 breeding pairs.
These penguins are still at risk of injury or death from fox and dog attacks, boat strikes, fishing lines, hooks and rubbish and deliberate destruction of their nests.