Sirtrack working with Emperor Penguin "Happy Feet"

Happy FeetEmperor Penguin arrival at Peka Peka BeachEmperor Penguin Happy Feet was found on Peka Peka Beach in June and has since captivated the nations hearts.

Happy Feet is being treated by specialists in New Zealand under the auspices of the Wellington Zoo. and experts from the Department of Conservation (DOC) and Te Papa are assisting with assessing when Happy Feet will be ready to re-enter the wild.

When Happy Feet does embark on his next journey he will be fitted with an Argos Satellite transmitter donated by wildlife tracking company Sirtrack, Havelock North, New Zealand.

The satellite transmitter has been specifically designed for tracking penguins. The device will be attached to Happy Feet in accordance with internationally accepted guidelines for fitting satellite transmitters to penguins. The fitting will supervised by animal experts from DOC and Te Papa.

The Argos satellite transmitter to be attached to Happy Feet will be programmed to provide data until after the moult which occurs during summer. Once the moult occurs the transmitter will drop off and no further data will be received. The data received will provide us with information on where Happy Feet has travelled and what temperature water he is experiencing.

Sirtrack are donating the satellite transmitter and Dr Gareth Morgan is funding the communications costs associated with retrieving the data.

A track of Happy Feet’s progress will be available on both the Sirtrack website (www.sirtrack.com) and the Our Far South website (www.ourfarsouth.org).

Sirtrack Limited have been designing and manufacturing wildlife tracking devices for over 25 years. Sirtrack’s tracking devices have been deployed on over 550 species in 70 countries worldwide. Sirtrack are pleased to be able to support Happy Feet’s re-entry to the wild.

This is a unique opportunity in New Zealand waters to learn about penguin behaviour in an unconventional environment, observe the effectiveness of the technology and inform the wider community on Happy Feet’s journey.