SCCG Media Release – 12 June 2024

With penguin breeding season underway, the Sydney Coastal Councils Group (SCCG) is urging all recreational watercraft operators to follow the boating rules in Sydney Cove, Manly, designed to protect a critically endangered population of Little Penguins.

A monitoring report prepared by the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) revealed the continuing poor results of breeding population numbers, which have reduced considerably at Manly. The monitoring results for the 2023-2024 season show that there are currently 19 breeding pairs, a reduction in last year’s results.

The SCCG’s Executive Officer, Sarah Joyce, said that these numbers are the lowest recorded and urgent action needs to be taken to address the range of threats so that we can see the population recover.

One of the key threats to the population is boat strike. The SCCG, in partnership with Transport for NSW (Maritime), Northern Beaches Council and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), wants to increase awareness of the boating rules in Spring Cove to reduce this threat causing the death of more Little Penguins. Boats are encouraged to watch SCCG’s education video which identifies the various rules put in place to protect the population including speeding limits and areas to avoid anchoring.

Finally, a message from Erica Mahon, Senior Threatened Species Officer with DCCEEW on the future of Little Penguins in Spring Cove.

“There is always hope for the Little Penguin population but we need everyone to pitch in to make sure these penguins have a future here in Manly” Ms Mahon said.

Simple boating rules for Spring Cove, Manly:

  • Reduce speed to four knots or below when entering North Harbour, Manly
  • Be extra careful at dawn and dusk
  • Don’t anchor in seagrass beds
  • Don’t bring dogs or cats onto beaches

The Little Penguin education video can be viewed below:


Raw footage of the Manly Little Penguins for news purposes available below:

For SCCG’s media release: Little Penguins Media Release.