As any dog-owning, bird-feeding person will attest, birds generally have nothing to fear from dogs, or at least no more than that from their human companion. Quail and Pipits will stand their ground as my disinterested dogs walk past at the local off-leash area, but flee in panic it I take a tiny step closer with the camera. But dogs do receive a good deal of bad press stemming from the behaviour of some of their naughtier representatives. Good to see them featuring in a good news story.
The Maremma dogs Eudy and Tula, pictured above, have been protecting roosting penguins on Warrnambool’s Middle Island from foxes and other predators for the past two years.
The island now provides a secure breeding habitat for about 180 adult fairy penguins, compared with just 51 penguins before the dogs took up their positions.