Sunday, 10 March 2013

I thought my kid would be able to do that...

Last night my sister and I took our respective little boys to Granite Island to see the fairy penguins at dusk.  Well, as much as a 2 year old and 5 month old will cooperate with that plan.

Visiting the island to see the penguins was a stock-standard of our childhood and school camps.  And the penguins were everywhere.  In fact one of my best friends and I spoke for the first time on the bus on the way back to our accommodation after the visit our class made for our Year 8 'get to know you' camp (for US readers, year 8 is the first year of high school in South Australia).

So N and I were expecting to see the hundreds of them that you used to see when we were kids.

I had heard numbers were in trouble, but was gobsmacked to hear they're down to 26 birds!!

Down from 2000 birds around ten years ago.

As J was not a happy camper while the guide was filling us in, so I didn't really hear the reasons, but apparently one main one is there has been an explosion of seal numbers.  And fairy penguins are quite yummy to seals.

On the drive home, N and I were saying we thought  this is one of those things we'd always be able to do with our kids at any time - turns out we may not be able to.


  1. It is amazing how fast a strong animal population can be destroyed. I saw a report the other day about how 2/3 of the world's polar bears will be gone by 2050.

    I looked up the Granite Island site. Apparently there is a population of around 2000 on West Island, which is much smaller than Granite Island? And it is thought that the primary cause is feral animals and disturbances by humans.

  2. So sad! I remember seeing them when I was there in 1999, they are so cute.