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8 Birdlife A variety of sea and forest birds thrive in the Catlins. Shags, gulls, mutton birds, gannets, albatross, herons and oystercatchers are among the many who roam the coast, whilst the forest is home to songbirds such as bellbirds and yellow heads, fantails, tomtits, tui and kereru, often seen near walking tracks. Seals and Sea Lions Hooker’s sea lions, New Zealand fur seals and the odd Elephant seal can be spotted sunning themselves on various Catlins beaches, including Waipapa Point and Surat Bay. All three co-exist at Nugget Point – the only place in New Zealand! You should not go between a seal or sea lion and the sea as this is their escape route. The animals can be aggressive and chase people and dogs when feeling threatened so please keep your distance. Yellow-eyed Penguins Yellow-eyed penguins are native to New Zealand and are an endangered species, distinguished by their yellow eyes and headband. Hoiho, its Maori name, replicates its shrill call and translates to ‘the noise shouter’. The penguins are best observed at dawn or dusk, when they are entering or exiting the sea for feeding. A specially built hide at Roaring Bay provides discreet viewing, and allow you to keep your distance while getting the best view. Penguins are shy and easily frightened, so please keep at a distance of at least 10 metres and stay hidden if possible. Dogs are strictly prohibited from penguin colonies. Hector’s Dolphins Hector’s dolphins are one of our curious local species. The black and white dolphins can be spotted in the summer surf at Porpoise Bay, and they are one of the smallest and rarest dolphins in the world! Swimming with the Hector’s dolphin is discouraged, it is best to watch them from the shore. If you happen to be in the water, please refrain from approaching the dolphins. Destination Clutha Catlins Wildlife


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