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EarthCheck Adopts Blue Penguin from Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony, New Zealand

May 6, 2014 Responsible Tourism No Comments Email Email

On June 5, EarthCheck, the world’s leading benchmarking and certification program for the travel and tourism sector, will celebrate World Environment Day by adopting and naming a blue penguin from the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony in New Zealand’s South Island.  

The blue penguin will become the EarthCheck mascot.

The blue penguin is the world’s smallest penguin. A mature penguin can grow to 30cm and can weigh up to 1kg. Blue penguin populations are threatened by development and introduced mammalian predators. In the mid-1980’s, Oamaru locals noticed blue penguins nesting in an abandoned quarry. Since 1992, the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony has monitored the welfare of the penguins, and provided tours to the public.

Philippa Agnew, Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony’s resident marine biologist, said that every penguin adoption supports the Oamaru Blue Penguin 233846_num753225_600x600Colony’s conservation efforts.

Philippa said, “Adopting a blue penguin helps the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony provide nesting boxes and a safe environment for the Blue Penguins during the breeding season. One of the adoption options also helps fund a GPS tracking device, which helps us to monitor where the penguins feed at sea and gather more information about them.”

“Without public support, we would know less about penguins. Every piece of information we collect is important and contributes to our conservation efforts.”

Mr Stewart Moore, CEO and founder of EarthCheck, said, “The Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony does important work and we are delighted to support this conservation initiative.”

“World Environment Day recognizes that anyone can be an agent of positive change, and that every action counts. By adopting a blue penguin, we hope to draw attention to the work of the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony and show that this is an option for the public to engage with penguin conservation.”

To name the penguin, EarthCheck is running a “name our mascot” competition. Participants can choose from five shortlisted names. All participants will go in a draw to win a fuzzy blue penguin replica. The winner will be announced on World Environment Day, June 5.

Participants also have the option of buying one of the blue penguin adoption packages. All participants who do so during the competition running time (May 1, 2014 – May 31, 2014) are entered into an additional draw for three days and two nights accommodation at the breathtaking Banyan Tree Lang Co. located on the south-central coast of Vietnam.

Banyan Tree Global Foundation will also match the winner’s adoption package purchase and provide the winner with an opportunity to experience one of the Banyan Tree Conservation initiatives during their stay. For more information on these inspiring stories, please visit

Competition details are available at

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