African penguins are in serious trouble.
Their numbers have plummeted over the past century due to the destruction of nesting sites, egg poaching, oil spills, global climate change, and competition for food resources with commercial fishing. There is hope to save this iconic species, through the
African Penguin Nest Project.
These new nests give penguin families a chance to succeed for many years to come, pulling the species back from the brink of extinction.You can sponsor an individual nest, or a group of them through a class or company project. It's a great way to be hands-on about a project to help save a species.
While African penguins may not live in your back yard, you can make choices to save penguins no matter where you live. Sponsoring a nest is a start, but this is just one of the ways you can help save these birds. Each choice we make can lead to a healthier future for penguins.
This project is unique because it developed nests to meet the specific needs of African penguins. Guano nests provided a very precise environment, and matching that was a challenge. The nests were painstakingly designed and tested to ensure they meet the penguins' every need for the successful incubation of eggs and rearing of chicks.
Conservation agencies, accredited zoological parks and individuals around the world are working together to save the African penguin from extinction. This unique group of scientists and experts has developed a scientifically researched artificial nest to provide safe places for these seabirds to raise chicks.
NEWS AND UPDATES
Too Hot to Handle
During recent work in the penguin colonies a testing procedure used was thermal imaging. Penguins nesting in exposed surface nests were measured with temperatures on their backs exceeding 145 degrees, while those in nests just a couple of feet away were measured at about 80 degrees. That is an absolutely massive difference for the birds.
Penguins Get Homes
Hundreds of nests were deployed this spring on Bird Island, off the coast of South Africa in SANParks' Addo Elephant National Park. The penguins took to the nests quickly, moving in as fast as they were installed. One bird laid an egg in a nest just four hours after it was put out! And in just four days, penguin families had occupied 98% of the nests.
With well over a thousand nests already in five of the penguin colonies we've been anxiously awaiting breeding season to see the results of all the work. While the global pandemic has reduced the amount of nest monitoring possible, for those areas that are being checked we're seeing very high usage rates and a significant number of penguin chicks.