Australia Goes to Extreme Measures to Protect Cuteness
From Jackass Penguins to Fairy Penguins (a much better name by the way). Fairy Penguins are in the news because Australia has taken some extreme measures to protect the adorable endangered creatures. More about that later.
Fairy Penguins are the smallest penguins in the world. They weigh only about 2lbs and measure about 16 inches long. Their feathers are slate blue to black, and their belly is white. The little guys live on the sandy or rocky islands of southern Australia and New Zealand where they eat mainly small fishes. They make their homes in burrows that help protect them from predators like gulls, snakes, rats, and lizards. The unique thing about their homes is that they return to the same home from year to year and remodel it to their liking. Natures tiny interior decorators. Under the Antarctic Treaty of 1959 these little guys are protected. It is illegal to harm or otherwise interfere with their cuteness. This is where the extreme measures come in.
The local parks and wildlife authority in Australia has discovered several of these little guys dead. While investigating the deaths, they are posting armed snipers with rifles and night vision goggles to protect the rest of the threatened population. The list of suspects in the deaths include foxes, wild dogs, strays, and family pets that are allowed to roam at night. Authorities speculate that the little guys are being killed while mating or lethargic from a tasty meal of little fishes. This is not the first time such measures have been employed to protect the Fairy Penguin. Guard sheepdogs have been used in the past when the population was threatened. Australia is protecting these birds, not only because of their threatened status, but also because their tiny cuteness brings in half a million visitors each year.
You can read the full story at The Renewable Planet.
Thank You For Your Consideration,
The Graham Ten