90% decline in SA's African Penguin species

Penguin conservationists have raised concerns about the status of the coastal birds in the province.

CapeTalk held an outdoor broadcast at Stony Point Nature Reserve in Betty’s Bay, which has been under Cape Nature's management since 2015.

Stony Point is the home of the African Penguin, a species which has been classified as endangered since 2010.

Dr Lauren Waller, an ecologist at the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (Sanccob), says that more half of the world's various penguin species are under threat.

According to Dr Waller, the African Penguin species has declined by over 90% of its original population, mainly due to climate change and scarce food resources.

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There are currently 18 species of penguin that are identified. More than half of those have a conservation status that is concerning.

Dr Lauren Waller, Leiden Conservation Fellow at Sanccob

There are five endangered species of penguins.

Dr Lauren Waller, Leiden Conservation Fellow at Sanccob

The main threat currently is poor food availability, due to competition with commercial fisheries and environmental fluctuations and climate change.

Dr Lauren Waller, Leiden Conservation Fellow at Sanccob

Senior marine ranger Cuan McGeorge says the seasonal demands of the bird make the work of the rangers at the African Penguin colony at Stony Point Nature Reserve more complex.

The pair discuss the factors which have contributed to the decline in the African penguin population and other endangered birds.

Take a listen to the discussion about the status of penguins worldwide:


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