In the 1980s the little yellow-eyed penguin or Hoiho was in dire straits. Predators and a lack of suitable breeding sites had decimated its numbers and it was considered to be an endangered species.

In 1987 Dunedin conservationists formed the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust with the aim of saving the penguin.

The Trust has a comprehensive coastal conservation programme including habitat restoration, predator control, research projects, plant nursery and education.

The Trust is based in Dunedin but manages land and penguin interests across the geographical range of the penguin on the mainland of New Zealand; Banks Peninsula to Slope Point (Southland) and on Stewart Island. In its first 22 years, the Trust protected yellow-eyed penguin habitats along these coastlines, by providing fencing to protect the nests from wandering stock, planting trees and shrubs, and purchasing other areas for penguin reserves.

Established in 1988, their plant nursery in Otago Peninsula has propagated more than 140,000 native trees and shrubs sourced from local seed. These have all been planted out in the appropriate habitat to provide more shelter and better nesting sites required by the penguins.

Thanks to the dedicated and hardworking people from the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust, with Mainland’s help, the yellow-eyed penguin has found its way into new breeding sites and into the homes, hearts and minds of all New Zealanders.

How we've helped save the yellow-eyed penguins 
Mainland has been supporting the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust’s efforts to save the yellow-eyed penguin for over 25 years; making it the country’s longest running corporate environmental sponsorship. The association between Mainland and the Trust has become much more than just another sponsorship arrangement; it has become a very special relationship.