Quarantine Beach , North Harbour, Sydney.
Quarantine Beach is named after the old Quarantine Station which operated from 1828-1984, and was the first port of call for all quarantined ships and their passengers. Today it is part of the Sydney Harbour National Park. Its buildings are used for conferences and guided tours are conducted of the Station. The beach is 200 m long, faces northwest into North Harbour, and is hemmed in by rocks at each end, together with a seawall and wharf at the southern end and is also home to a nearby Fairy Penguin rookery.
Not many years ago, Little or Fairy Penguins were quite common on Sydney Beaches, and people living on the northern beaches actually used to place chicken wire underneath their houses to keep them out; subsequently they no longer nest there. Today, only two colonies survive, one on Lion Island in Broken Bay and the other at Store Beach, Manly. Senior citizens recall camping on Store Beach and remember them marching through their tents at night.
In 1952 there were a number of penguin colonies in the Manly area totalling about 500 birds. 300 birds were shot in the 1950s and their numbers have slowly been depleted by dogs alighting from boats, pollution and the advent of jet skis (these have been subsequently banned on Sydney Harbour). By 2000, the population had fallen to only 65 breeding pairs and less than 150 birds. When dogs destroyed the Little Penguin colony at Eden, those at Manly and Broken Bay became the last breeding colonies of Little Penguins on the mainland of NSW. Steps have been taken by concerned residents wildlife preservation groups and Government bodies to protect the Manly colony.
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Photography by Geoff Childs
Copyright © 2014 Geoff Childs.sunnypicsoz
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