10th Circular, 12 June 2019


Welcome to this 9th Circular for the 10th International Penguin Conference being held in Dunedin, New Zealand 24 – 28 August 2019.

This circular is a reminder that the Early Bird Registrations have now closed, but registrations are still open so why not register now! It also contains information about the Icebreaker, workshops, printing your poster, representative countries and the University of Otago’s 150th celebrations.


Remember that the conference registration is still open, so register now.
There are still some places available on the Oamaru train trip, Milford Sound overnight trip and the conference dinner. You can register for these events by sending an email to rsvp.events@otago.ac.nz. Include the name of the conference and what you would like to do e.g. add dinner.


The conference Icebreaker will be held at the Otago Business School, located within the University campus, on Friday 23 August at 6pm-8pm. There will be speeches at 7pm from three key people:

  • John Darby, Companion of the Royal Society of New Zealand and retired zoologist from the Otago Museum. John moved to NZ from the UK in 1954 and now calls Aoteoroa his home country. His passion for hoiho | yellow-eyed penguins saw him dubbed with the nickname ‘Mr Penguin’. It was through John telling another peninsula-based community group that if something was not done to save the yellow-eyed penguins, these penguins would not be seen on our shores by 2020, so the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust was formed in 1987. Together with Lloyd Davis, he helped set up the 1st International Penguin Conference in Dunedin in 1988, and we are delighted that John will be part of the 10th conference celebrations.

  • Lloyd S Davis is an internationally recognized scientist, as well as an award-winning author and filmmaker. Currently the inaugural Stuart Professor of Science Communication at the University of Otago, he has authored 150 refereed publications on topics ranging from behavioural ecology to science communication and science diplomacy, but the majority of them have been about penguins. Lloyd and John Darby established the International Penguin Conferences and he has remained involved as a member of the International Science Committee as well as a member of the Local Organising Committee for the 10th International Penguin Conference.

  • Pablo Garcia Borboroglu (Popi) is the Founder and President of the Global Penguin Society, an organisation internationally recognised for its dedication to the conservation of the world’s penguin species and the coasts and the oceans they inhabit. GPS has helped protect 32 million acres of habitat, taken over 6,000 children to visit penguin colonies, and has fostered the establishment of the IUCN Penguin Specialist Group, of which Popi is the Co-Chair. GPS is a platinum sponsor of the 10th IPC and they are celebrating their own 10th anniversary in 2019. We are delighted POPI will present at the Icebreaker.


  • Penguin mortality event workshop
    A workshop will be held to discuss how best to respond to mass mortalities in penguins. We will discuss several recent events including: avian malaria and unexplained mortality events of yellow-eyed penguins, avian influenza in Southern Africa and the unknown-cause mortalities of gentoo penguins on several Subantarctic islands. We hope to get collaborative input from around the world on how best to respond to these events and what we have learned from them so far. Using these examples we hope to formulate guidelines for responding to future events, to ask the correct questions, make the right observations and learn as much as possible to help to understand and solve the problem as soon as possible.

    Date and time: Friday 23 August 1-4pm
    Venue: tbc
    Organisers: Ralph Vanstreels (Institute of Research and Rehabilitation of Marine Animals, Brazil), David Roberts (SANCCOB, South Africa) and Trudi Webster (YEPT, New Zealand)

    If you are interested in attending this workshop please contact Trudi Webster at science-advisor@yeptrust.org.nz. Places may be limited.

  • IUCN SSC Penguin Specialist Group: Pre-conference meeting
    The IUCN SSC Penguin Specialist Group was formed in August 2014 to provide scientific advice that informs policy and engages people in effective conservation action (https://www.iucn.org/commissions/ssc-groups/birds/penguin). In September 2016, at the 9th IPC in Cape Town, South Africa, a pre-conference workshop was hosted by the PSG to review the conservation status of all the extant penguin species. Outputs from this workshop were provided to the Red Listing authority, Birdlife International, and used to produce the updated Red List classification. The Steering Committee published the findings in the penguin TAG newsletter in May 2017. The Steering Committee meet again in May 2018 to detail threats to penguin species and decided to meet in Dunedin, New Zealand before the 10IPC in August 2019 to review objectives and targets for the current IUCN quadrennium (2017-2020).

    During the day of IPC10 registration, the IUCN PSG will hold an open session for interested conference attendees, to provide an overview of the structure, objectives, and plans of the group. The venue for this open meeting will be within walking distance of the conference registration booth, and will be confirmed nearer the time.

    Date and time: Friday 23 August 2-4pm
    Venue: tbc

    Please direct any enquiries about this open session, or any aspects of the IIUCN PSG, to: Pablo Popi Garcia Borboroglu (co-Chair IUCN PSG): globalpenguinsociety@gmail.com


If you wish to bring your poster to Dunedin and print it here, there are a couple of options:


With Dunedin being based ‘down-under’, the Local Organising Committee was never too sure how many delegates would attend this conference, and hoped with fingers and toes crossed, that the global interest in penguins was enough to attract a good-sized audience. NZ is home to five of the penguin species, so organisers are hoping this is another reason to come down-under given there is the possibility of viewing some of these species on the optional conference field trips. Delegates who have already registered come from all around the world – Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Denmark, England, Falkland Islands, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Scotland, South Africa, USA, as well as a large contingent from Australasia (Australia and New Zealand). We look forward to welcoming everyone to the 10th International Penguin Conference in our part of the globe.


The University of Otago, Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo, is New Zealand’s first and finest university. It was founded in 1869, and in 2019 the University reaches the significant milestone of becoming 150 years old. To celebrate the University is hosting a series of events ranging from research forums, seminars and symposia, to sporting, cultural and civic events.

The IPC 10 Local Organising Committee is delighted to be a recipient of sponsorship from the University’s 150th celebrations. This has included the venue, 150th merchandise and a grant to help bring Keynote people to Dunedin. Our sincere thanks to them for this recognition.

Royal Penguin off Macquarie Island. Image © Edin Whitehead, NZ Birds Online

Royal Penguin off Macquarie Island. Image © Edin Whitehead, NZ Birds Online

Local organising committee:

   Lloyd S Davis, Phil Seddon, Yolanda van Heezik (University of Otago)
   Thomas Mattern (University of Otago/Global Penguin Society)
   Bruce McKinlay (Department of Conservation)
   Sue Murray (Yellow-Eyed Penguin Trust)
   Philippa Agnew (Oamaru Penguin Colony)
   Hoani Langsbury (Pukekura Trust)

International Scientific Committee:

   Peter Barham (University of Bristol)
   Dee Boersma (University of Washington)
   Pablo Garcia Borboroglu (Global Penguin Society, CONICET)
   Lloyd Davis (University of Otago)
   Sue Murray (Yellow-Eyed Penguin Trust)
   Phil Trathan (British Antarctic Survey)
   Heather Urquhart (New England Aquarium)
   Lauren Waller (Leiden Conservation Fellow, SANCCOB)