On 10 October, African Penguin Consciousness Day, the Two Oceans Aquarium’s penguin mascot, Samantha, shall be joined by the penguin mascots from Kfm 94.5 (Rocket), and Cape City Tourism (Themba), in celebrating the day and highlighting the plight of African penguins.
The three mascots can have an early morning photograph session within the Penguin Exhibit on the Aquarium, the place after they are going to watch a Fb occasion video of a SANCCOB penguin launch at 10:00.
Observe the mascot celebrations on the Aquarium, Cape City Tourism and Kfm 94.5 social media channels.
African Penguin Consciousness Day is widely known worldwide annually with the intention of elevating consciousness across the plight of African penguins and their speedy decline in numbers. African penguins are the one penguin species discovered on the African continent.
Within the final century, their numbers have declined dramatically and present estimates recommend that there are solely between 60 000 and 70 000 particular person birds left within the wild – this, when their inhabitants numbers have been within the thousands and thousands on the flip of the 20th century. With lower than 20 000 breeding pairs at present left, scientists estimate that if their numbers proceed to say no on the present price, these charismatic and endemic birds shall be functionally extinct within the wild inside 15 to 20 years.
One of many greatest threats that these birds face is meals availability. Being reliant on small fish like anchovies and sardines for meals, African penguins are discovering it increasingly tough to search out enough meals for themselves and their chicks. The low fish shares are as a consequence of overfishing in addition to modifications within the marine ecosystem brought on by local weather change, and biodiversity loss. Grownup penguins need to swim additional and additional away from their nesting grounds to search out meals, which not solely compromises the chicks on the nests, but in addition the grownup birds themselves.
African penguins nest by burrowing into the substrate. On islands the place these penguins have their nests, guano layers, shaped over a whole bunch and a whole bunch of years, are the idea of the substrate. Traditionally, penguin guano was used as fertiliser and was collected from these islands. The truth that the penguins’ nesting areas have been stripped of nesting materials has resulted within the birds being uncovered to excessive climate occasions and different local weather change-related phenomena like extreme warmth and chilly.
Predation by marine and terrestrial animals, air pollution, habitat loss, illness and different human interventions are additionally contributing to the continued decline in penguin numbers.
“African penguins don’t solely act as marine ambassadors and indicator species, however they’re additionally wonderful to work with. These birds present large character of life and love. They’re an endangered species that’s calling out for our assist which we can provide by schooling, conservation and consciousness. Waddle we do to assist them?”, mentioned Shanet Rutgers, Penguin Keeper on the Two Oceans Aquarium.
What you are able to do to assist African penguins:
- Be a accountable shopper
- Select solely sustainably sourced seafood and species on SASSI’s inexperienced record. Sardines are on the orange record, so keep away from these as a lot as doable
- When shopping for meat, examine what the animals have been fed as livestock. Poultry particularly is usually ate up fishmeal which is comprised of sardines and anchovies. The identical goes to your pets’ meals!
- Refuse, reuse, recycle and rethink your use of plastic. The much less you purchase, the much less there shall be within the surroundings. And if it’s a must to purchase plastic, be sure that you get rid of it responsibly.
- Assist native organisations like SANCCOB and APPS and their work to rehabilitate and launch African penguins.
- When visiting native penguin colonies, obey the foundations and don’t disturb the penguins by sustaining at the very least three metres between you and the birds.
- For those who see a penguin in misery, contact SANCCOB +27 21 557 6155 throughout centre hours and for after-hour emergencies name +27 78 638 3731.
- Educate your self and others in regards to the plight of African penguins and what you are able to do to make sure their survival.