The Middle Island Maremma Project was announced the Winner of the Australian Government's National Landcare Award at Parliment House on Thursday the 24th June, 2010. More Details: Landcare Australia


Middle Island is located in Warrnambool, Victoria, and is home to Little Penguin, Short-tailed Shearwater and Black Cormorant colonies. The little penguin colony in particular is vulnerable to fox and dog predation and the population declined from over 600 birds to less than 10 birds over the period of 2000 to 2005.

Since 2006, trained Maremma Guardian Dogs have been guarding Middle Island's inhabitants. The breed has been used in Italy to protect sheep for over 2000 years. Since the arrival of these amazing dogs, the Little Penguin colony has steadily increased.





Arrival count results for the 2009-10 breeding season (shown in purple) with total colony size estimates (shown in orange).





This program is supported by the Warrnambool Coastcare Landcare Group and the Warrnambool City Council. It is sponsored by the Victorian Government through the Second Generation Landcare Grants Program, and by Powercor.