Ruben Venegas-Li

Postdoc Scientist

Phillip Island has one of the largest colonies of the little penguin (Eudyptula minor), with a success story of conservation on land. A remaining challenge, however, is to address risks at sea. Tracking data from the colony’s penguins has provided us with a better understanding of their spatial and temporal distribution during the breeding season. For example, breeding stage, and environmental conditions, determine the extent and areas where the little penguins forage. On a collaborative project between Monash University and Phillip Island Nature Parks, I am using these data to explore different spatial conservation prioritisation scenarios that allow protecting key little penguins’ foraging areas, while minimizing conflicts with human uses that occur in those places. The results from the spatial conservation prioritisation will be used to guide marine spatial planning initiatives in the area.