Looking after Tasmania's Environment since 1968

Penguin Conservation in Tasmania

The Penguin Jumpers Project has now finished. Over 15,000 jumpers were collected, which will be stored in Oil Spill Response Kits around Tasmania. In the case of a major oil spill, these jumpers will be used to help rehabilitate Little penguins (Eudyptula minor) that have been oil affected. Oil clogs the feathers of these tiny seagoing birds, and reduces their insulating and waterproofing qualities. Even worse, the penguins attempt to clean themselves by preening, and rapidly become poisoned.

We are now concentrating on the problem of penguins and cars. There is an ever increasing problem on Bruny Island, a small island in the D'Entrecasteaux Channel in southern Tasmania. Accessible only by ferry, Bruny Island is a popular tourist destination due to its rugged natural beauty and astonishing diversity of wildlife, which includes several thousand Little penguins. Trust supporter Dr. Tonia Cochran had this to say about Bruny Island and it's penguins:

" As a local resident of 14 years, and biologist who conducts wildlife tours on the island, I have found that one of the main attractions for visitors to the island is the Little penguin, the smallest penguin species in the world. One can view these little birds returning to their burrows at dusk mainly during the breeding season (August to February) although they can be found here all year round. They share this area with another ground-nesting bird, the Short-tailed shearwater which visitors can also view in the spring and summer months. Unfortunately, the rookery is situated on the narrowest part of the island (less than 100 metres wide in places), which is the isthmus that connects the northern and southern part of Bruny Island. The main road that connects the two parts of the island by necessity passes through this area and the penguins often have to cross the road to access their burrows. Sadly, an increasing number are hit by vehicles as they frantically attempt to waddle across the road, which is of great concern as their numbers are decreasing year by year. We desperately need funds to enable us to fence off both sides of the road and provide underpasses through which the penguins can safely access their burrows. We hope you can help to save these little birds and make their future on this special island brighter."

The cost of fencing both sides of the 3 km road along the neck on Bruny Island, as well as the placement of several culverts to allow penguins to move under the road, has been costed at $100,000. The Trust will be applying for both state and federal funds for this project, as well as approaching corporate sponsors. we have also received several thousand dollars in donations from Penguin Jumper Project participants.

More details will be placed on this site as the project continues.

Penguin Jumpers Pattern

Handknitted 4 ply
4 ply wool 1 pair No. 10 needles (old measurement)
1 pair No. 12 needles (old measurement)
With No. 12 needles cast on 50 stitches.
K10 rows in K1, P1 rib

Change to No. 10 needles and K2, P2 rib whilst increasing at the end of every row 6 times (62 stitches) then continue to knit in 2 x 2 rib until garment measures 15cm.

Decrease one st at each end of every row until 36 stitches remain. In the next row decrease one st at each end and also one st in the middle of the row to leave 33 sts.

Change to K1, P1 rib with Size 12 needles.

Knit 11 rows and cast off firmly on Row 12.

This is one side of garment. Make another and sew up from upper decrease to start of rib open for flippers. Add elastic to the top and bottom to prevent the penguins getting out of them. Top: 15cm of elastic; bottom 17cm (knots allowed).

Hand knitted 8 ply
8 ply wool 1 pair No. 11 needles (old measurement)
1 pair of No. 9 needles (old measurement)
1 set of No. 11 needles (old measurement)

Cast on 36 stitches using No. 11 needles.

K1, P1 to end of row. Repeat this row 7 times.

Change to No. 9 needles and K2, P2 rib. Work 4 rows increasing at each end of every row. (44 sts)

Continue until work measures 15 cms.

Decrease 1 st at each end of every row until 28 sts remain.

Decrease 1 st. in middle of next row (27 sts.)

Leave on needle.

Make second side the same.

Transfer the 54 sts from both pieces to 3 of the set of 4 No. 11 needles.(18 sts on each.) and work a round neck in K1 P1 rib for 10 rows.

Cast off.

Stitch up sides to decreasing to 27sts (opening for flipper). Add elastic to the top and bottom to prevent the penguins getting out of them. Top: 15cm of elastic; bottom 17 cm (knots allowed).

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