Middle Island Maremma Project

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Middle Island Maremma Project

Middle Island Maremma Project

A world first use of Maremma dogs to protect native fauna has been successful in saving the Warrnambool Little Penguin colony.

In the early 2000's there was a thriving Little Penguin colony on Middle Island. Over a number of years foxes began invading the island. This resulted in many penguin kills wil one night having over 180 dead penguins found on the island. By 2005 less than 10 birds were counted. Something different had to be done!!

In 2006 a local chicken farmer (Swampy Marsh) suggested that Maremma dods be trialled in protecting penguins from foxes. This trial was successful and ever since the summer of 2006 there has been Maremma guardian dogs on Middle Island, and most importanly no recorded fox kills.

The population is recovering so that we now estimated 180 Little Penguins are returning to Middle Island each breeding season.


Middle Island Maremmas live at Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village when they are off duty and through the winter period April til November.

Please Note - The Maremmas are working dogs and will not always be on public display. we hope you understand they need their 'no people' time so they can remain our penguin guardians.

Middle Island Maremma Project Fact Sheet

To assist media and schools to understand the background and delivery of this program we have developed this fact sheet. This information is updated as the project progresses and as we receive more queries, so if you have another question please feel free to email us - fshreception@warrnambool.vic.gov.au


Meet the Maremmas Education Program

Through-out the year you can learn about this world first project by doing a Meet the Maremma session.

We offer School Programs, Group visits and special programs through School Holiday periods.

Check the Meet the Maremmas Public Programs - CLICK HERE