Lives of Warrnambool penguins on show

WARRNAMBOOL City Council has installed secret cameras to offer a unique bit of bedroom viewing — into the lives of penguins.

If you ever wanted to know what noise a penguin makes you will get a chance soon when the love nests are broadcast live. 

The once dwindling fairy penguin colony on Middle Island will now be on display after three webcams were installed recently by the council and environmental group Wild Diaries.

Council environmental staff member Justin Harzmeyer said the idea was to bring real nature into living rooms.

“Wild Diaries asked the council if they could install cameras into the breeding boxes to get live footage of the penguins and chicks,” he said. 

Around 140 breeding boxes are scattered across the island and are vital for the survival of the 140-strong population, which dropped to just six in 2005. 

“There’s probably not enough shrubs to provide structure for nesting. A lot of the nests are straight into the sand,” Mr Harzmeyer, who handles two Maremma guardian dogs on the island each day, said.

He said the cameras would be rotated around the boxes to follow the action.

Streaming had been planned before Christmas but has been delayed by the Telstra outage and teething problems.

A live feed is expected to be up online in the coming weeks. 

Mr Harzmeyer said viewers could get a first taste of the nesting penguins on Youtube now. 

s.mccomish@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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