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Home-grown technology monitors penguin movement

There is safety in numbers. And little penguins group together offshore to form "rafts" of birds when they return to the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony at night.

But visitors ask a common, confounding question, Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony science and environmental manager Dr Philippa Agnew said, which until now staff had been unable to answer - "Is it always the same birds that come first?"

However, since the end of April, Dr Agnew had been using a "No8 wire" copper-wire reconstruction of the microchip readers she used in her PhD work at the colony beginning in 2010 and soon staff could have a much better understanding of individual birds' behaviour.

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