Biology and conservation of kororā (little penguins) – 2024 Seaweek lecture

Speaker: Dr John Cockrem, Massey University, Palmerston North

Date: Tuesday, 5 March 2024, 6:00pm (Door open from 5:30pm)

Venue: National Aquarium of New Zealand, 546 Marine Parade, Napier

Admission: Gold coin donation

In the face of declining kororā (little penguin) populations along New Zealand’s coastlines, Dr John Cockrem’s upcoming lecture aims to shed light on the pressing challenges these charming birds face. As human activities and climate change continue to threaten their existence, understanding the biology, conservation status, and the impacts of these threats becomes crucial. Dr Cockrem, with over three decades of experience in penguin research, will delve into the life cycle, breeding biology, and feeding habits of the kororā, complemented by insights from at-sea tracking studies.

Dr Cockrem’s extensive career began with his pioneering research in Antarctica, focusing on Adelie and emperor penguins, and has evolved to spotlight the kororā as his main study species. His impactful work includes establishing new nestbox study sites across New Zealand and engaging in comprehensive field studies to determine the breeding success and survival of kororā. His dedication to penguin conservation is further demonstrated through his roles as a trustee and patron of penguin trusts, providing expert advice to local councils, and advocating for penguin protection in both legal and media arenas. Dr Cockrem’s efforts in kororā research and conservation have been recognized with prestigious awards, marking him as a key figure in the fight to preserve these unique creatures.