Mass death – Korora penguins washing up on New Zealand beaches

korora penguin

Hundreds of Korora penguins, also known as little penguins or little blue penguins have washed up on the beaches in northern New Zealand since early May 2022. Mass deaths of the korora penguins – a flightless bird native to New Zealand – used to take place about once per decade but now they have happened 3 times in six years.

While unofficial reports mention at least 500 washed-up animals within a month, the ‘exact number is difficult to determine and reports are still coming in,’ according to New Zealand Department of Conservation principal science adviser Graeme Taylor.1

The penguins were tested for diseases and biotoxins, but appeared to have died from starvation.

Experts in New Zealand said they expected a mortality event this summer due to the La Nina climate pattern, which is expected to continue through the end of the year.

“With mass die-offs happening more frequently, the penguins have less opportunity to replenish their population through breeding in better years,” Taylor said.


1 Hundreds of little blue penguins are washing up dead on New Zealand beaches – 7News – June 18, 2022

Featured image credit: Kimberley Collins

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  2. Caution: Mass Extinction in progress. There are so many events like this, and many more that go unnoticed. (Where are the bees?) Honestly, extinction should be it’s own section on this website. The rapid and permanent loss of species is one of the starker reminders of how bad things are going for the environment. Anyone who doesn’t think this has any effect them or that they are not in some part responsible is lying to themselves. We all let this happen and to not change our ways is to guarantee we too will soon join the little blue penguins. You don’t know what you had until it is gone.

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