Mermay Day 13: African Penguin (Endangered)
Able to grow up to 27.5 inches tall, the African penguin is native to southern Africa where it breeds at 28 localities in Namibia and South Africa. In 2015, it was estimated that there were about 80,000 individuals with adult plumage. They are marine and found usually within 40km of the coast, coming ashore to breed, moult, and rest. In the past, nests were usually built in burrows dug in guano or sand. Today nesting in open areas is more common with the lack of guano. Breeding season takes place from May through August.
Threats include food shortages resulting from shifts in the distributions of prey species, competition with commercial purse-seine fisheries, and environmental fluctuations. Chronic oil pollution and individual large oil spills have long-term significant impacts on colonies. Most of the population is confined to areas that are near major shipping ports.
There are conservation actions underway. Most breeding areas in South Africa are in national parks or nature reserves. There are regulations, such as NIMPA, that protects areas of ocean in southern Namibia. Lost nesting habitats have been augmented using artificial nests. Some have shown success while others have not been as successful. In South Africa, the African penguin Biodiversity Management plan oversees conservation actions to be implemented.
Illustrator. I love cooking, gardening, and birds! My favorite birds include albatrosses, spoonbills, and penguins!
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This is a gallery-quality giclée art print on 100% cotton rag archival paper, printed with archival inks. Each art print is listed by sheet size and features a minimum one-inch border.