24 May, 2018 2:33pm
By: Hamish MacLean
Two yellow-eyed penguins have been killed by dogs at a wildlife reserve in the Catlins over the past four weeks.
Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust general manager Sue Murray called the deaths at the trust's Long Point Irahuka Reserve south of Owaka ''devastating'' in so far as they were ''totally preventable''.
Signs at the reserve clearly indicated dogs were not allowed.
The South Island's estimated 250 breeding pairs of the bird remain the lowest for one of the world's rarest penguin species for more than a quarter of a century, and experts have predicted the penguins' extinction from mainland New Zealand because of threats such as climate change, starvation and disease, including avian diphtheria and avian malaria.