In response to the deaths of 45 penguins at Bicheno late last November, local environmental group the Earth Ocean Network Inc. is organising a public meeting with relevant staff from Glamorgan Spring Bay Council, Parks and Wildlife, DPIPWE and bird expert Eric Woehler (Birdlife Tasmania).

Spokesperson for the group, Lucy Landon-Lane, said: “The community is wanting to see how we can prevent further attacks on our Little Penguins, and give them greater protection from feral cats as well as dogs.  Penguin numbers are incredibly low this year and we need to give them as much protection as we are able, to ensure that they flourish on our shores.

Another serious issue that needs to be addressed is inappropriate behaviour of some visitors who chose to not go on a supervised penguin tour.  We have heard stories of penguins being picked up for selfies, people poking sticks down burrows, and harassing the penguins as they come out of the ocean with bright lights.

Bicheno relies on tourism for our economy, and many people who come here want to see penguins which is wonderful, and we need to ensure that these vulnerable birds are respected and cared for as best we can.”

The meeting will be from 10.30 – 12.30, Wednesday January 30, at Bicheno Community Hall, Burgess St.