SANParks marks International African Penguin Awareness Day
SANParks says the main reason for the ongoing decrease of African penguins in South Africa is a scarcity of prey around its main breeding localities along the west coast.
JOHANNESBURG – South African National Parks (SANParks) has joined the world in celebrating International African Penguin Awareness Day.
It's celebrated every year in a bid to educate and inform the public of the plight of the African penguin.
The species is currently regarded as vulnerable to extinction and classified as endangered on the red list of threatened species.
SANParks says the main reason for the ongoing decrease of African penguins in South Africa is a scarcity of prey around its main breeding localities along the west coast, which has led to high mortality rates of birds in this region.
“Several management actions have been implemented to conserve the African penguins, including formal protection of breeding colonies by converting areas with known breeding sites into nature reserves and national parks; prohibiting the collection of guano and eggs; establishing marine protected areas where fishing is prohibited; ongoing research to monitor population trends in relation to prey availability and disease outbreaks; active management of population sizes of predators; artificial care of abandoned chicks, providing artificial nests and rehabilitating sick birds.”
International African Penguin Awareness Day also coincides with National Marine Week in the country.
SANParks manages four of South Africa’s 23 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), namely West Coast National Park MPA, Table Mountain National Park MPA, Garden Route National Park Tsitsikamma Section MPA and Bird Island MPA which are areas of cultural significance, income generation, fisheries management, developmental research and low impact ecotourism and recreational activities.
In celebration of #NationalMarineWeek, 9-12 October, we hosted media at Table Mountain National Park’s marine protected area (MPA). This year’s theme is “Nature Knows No Waste”. #NMW2018 #LiveYourWild pic.twitter.com/WTjhpmQ9r3— SANParks (@SANParks) October 12, 2018