African Penguins Need Help
Without changes in human behavior the extinction of the African penguin wild populations will happen in our lifetime.
There are a tremendous number of challenges currently threatening the survival of the wild populations of African penguins. While the lack of suitable nesting locations to lay their eggs and raise their chicks is a significant threat to their future this is not the only concern. Additional challenges with predators, over-fishing and poaching of fish populations, marine pollution including oil spills, global climate change, threats to habitats by human populations, introduction of invasive pest species, and others are all a concern as well.
There are almost 8 billion people living on the planet. If even a small percentage of this population made the decision to take positive steps towards protecting the fragile ecosystems that African penguins call home their future could be more secure.
Suitable nest sites lead to more penguin chicks
The harvesting of guano from the nesting islands beginning in the 1800's and continuing through the mid-1900's stripped bare the nesting areas that previously supported millions of African penguins. Without the ability to burrow into the guano, which provided both protection from the environment and from predators, the success rate for the birds raising offspring has plummeted. After extensive design work, scientific testing lasting more than a year, and finally colony testing to ensure that the artificial nests meet the highly specific needs the nests are ready for deployment in all breeding colonies.
While it's not possible to re-create the perfection of Mother Nature, the design of this nest closely mimics the environment of the natural burrows previously utilized and gives the penguins a fighting chance for the future. With support from zoological facilities, conservation organizations, government facilities, corporations, and especially individuals it will be possible to fabricate and install enough penguin nests to meet the needs for those birds that need them. Sponsoring a nest or group of nests, donating to help fund the project, and purchasing a penguin plush made by Bears for Humanity all help the nest project team provide homes for penguins.
Purchase Sustainable Seafood
The choices we make as consumers drive the seafood marketplace. Your purchasing power can make a difference by supporting those fisheries and fish farms that are healthier and/or better for the environment, while at the same time reducing pressure on species and regions that are not doing as well. With more than 75 percent of the world's fisheries either fully fished or overfished, these issues are more important than ever.
By using the seafood guide for your region, you have the information needed to make choices based on the best available research into seafood sustainability and you would be supporting environmentally friendly fisheries and aquaculture operations. Downloading the app to your mobile device simplifies having the resources available to ensure that you're always in a position to purchase the most sustainable and environmentally friendly seafood option.
Outside of North America there are additional resources to help guide your seafood purchases. https://www.seafoodwatch.org/resources
Reduce Plastic and Petroleum Use
Your carbon footprint has a big impact.
The carbon footprint of single-use plastics is formidable. Five-hundred million gallons of oil are used yearly to produce 30 billion plastic bags in the US alone. That’s just the plastic bags. Another seven hundred million gallons of oil are used each year to produce America’s plastic bottles. Reducing this, in addition to increasing the use of renewable energy sources and choosing fuel efficient and/or electric vehicles, can break the petroleum industry stranglehold on a clean and safe environment.
Millions of tons of carbon dioxide are produced to prop up a preventable plastics addiction. That’s not even accounting for the excessive plastic packaging in groceries and consumer products. The production of plastics now accounts for 6 percent to 8 percent of all oil consumption globally, and in thirty years that number will rise to 20 percent. The production of plastics from fossil fuel is only cost effective when components not used for plastics are used for energy production. Renewable energy sources can break the pattern for both fossil fuel dependency and the scourge of single-use plastic products.