pilot's beach

Pilot’s Beach on Dunedin’s beautiful Otago Peninsula is home to a breeding colony of the rare Little Blue Penguin.  The daily arrival of the blue penguins at Pilot’s Beach has increasingly attracted public interest, particularly since a predator control programme over the last few years has seen a marked increase in the number of breeding pairs establishing nests in the vicinity.  This visitor pressure and a lack of predator, pest and weed control over many years has compromised the vegetation of this fragile environment.

The Air New Zealand Environment Trust is assisting with the revegetation of Pilot’s Beach which is not only consistent with its preservation and development as a Little Blue Penguin nesting habitat, but also makes it feasible to accommodate the ever increasing visitor activity in the area.

Once revegetation is established, this unique area will be representative of the original plant species mix that once occupied the Otago Harbour margin; now reduced to a small number of mostly poor quality remnants. It is anticipated that the Pilot’s Beach revegetation project will eventually provide a living insight into the flora that was once abundant over the whole Otago Peninsula. 


Photographer: the late Colin Emslie

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