A record number of little penguins have crossed the beach at Penguin Parade on Victoria’s Phillip Island and even more remarkably, the record comes outside the traditional spring/summer breeding period.

Phillip Island Nature Parks research officer Paula Wasiak said the record had been broken several times in recent weeks.

The previous record — just over 4500 — happened only a few days earlier. The record numbers are especially surprising because they’ve occurred outside the November/December breeding window.

Ms Wasiak said conservation efforts that focused on fox eradication and habitat work were likely playing a role in the high numbers. The population is also in the midst of what is known as the autumn breeding attempt, where older penguins in particular try to breed ahead of winter.

Ms Wasiak said this year’s autumn breeding attempt was looking like being the biggest the parks had ever seen.

According to abc.net.au