Phillip Island’s greatest tourist highlight is its local colony of Little Penguins.

Seen waddling up to shore every night to their nests along the island’s sandy grassland. However, humans aren’t the only things seeking out these creatures, with many local predators hunting these creatures for a tasty snack.

About the Penguins

As you can probably guess from its name, this species of penguin is the smallest in the world, only measuring up to 33 centimetres tall. The creatures spend the majority of their time out in the seawater, hunting for fish all day, and only returning in shifts to rest and feed their young. The only nesting region in Phillip Island is the sandy grassland off Summerland Beach. Attached to this nesting grassland is the island’s Penguin Parade, a state-of-the-art facility which allows visitors to see these incredible creatures safely and sustainably.

The Dangers they face

Predators of the Little Penguin is aplenty, with water predators including sharks, seals and other large animals found in Australia’s coastal waters. Above the seawater, birds are the main danger, with many birds swooping down to the water to snatch up a little penguin swimming along the water’s surface. Due to the water’s danger’s the Little Penguin has evolved to create a camouflaging effect with their colourful feathers. The dark blue feathers on penguin’s backs help them to hide from the bird’s preying on them from above, as the dark blue blends perfectly with the dark water. The white feathers on their bellies merge them with the water when underwater predators look up to the surface. This helps the penguins stay safer while hunting for their own food in the wild ocean of the coast, sneaking past seals and birds that glide by.

On land, birds are also a big threat to them, as well as dogs. Due to this, the penguins waddle up to shore as quick as they can right after dusk sets. Giving them the advantage of darkness, so many of their predators are either sleeping or unable to see them in the night. The predators of the Little Penguins aren’t the only thing that they face, with development, pollution, climate change and over-fishing have all had a major impact on Penguins worldwide.

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