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We need your help . . . Timaru Penguins group representative Peter Bennett (right) is pleased with the support from Corporate Print's Andy White to get new signage installed at the main penguin nesting spot on Caroline Bay. PHOTO: GRETA YEOMAN

by Greta Yeoman

The penguins need your help.

That is the message from new signs to be installed by the Timaru Penguins Group at Caroline Bay.

Representative Peter Bennett said the theme of the signage would hopefully remind residents to give nesting penguins space, particularly at the eastern end of the beach.

The group had also installed extra fencing around the main nesting area at the port end of Caroline Bay, in hopes it would keep humans – and dogs during the winter – away from the nesting birds.

“Just give them some space.”

Mr Bennett said there were several nesting penguins in the nest boxes at the port end of the beach.

While people could come down to the bay at dusk to watch the penguins come ashore, they were best to do so from November onwards, when more birds were nesting.

There had been about three nests last year and there were at least five at the port end and a handful of others at the Benvenue Cliffs end of the beach too, he said.

The Timaru Penguins members and other volunteers also hoped to plant more vegetation over the coming months, which would act as an additional barrier between beach-users and their penguin neighbours.

Mr Bennett hoped the noticeable signage on the beach would act as an early reminder for people who also took their dogs to the beach during winter.

While dogs were banned from Caroline Bay’s beachfront from October 1 to March 31 each year, the group had spotted dog-prints in the fenced-off areas during the crossover between penguin nesting and dogs being allowed on the bay.