As we face the reality of ever declining numbers within the African penguin population, this week South Africa joined the world in celebrating World Penguin Day.
According to the press the number of African penguins has dropped from over 1 million pairs in the 1920s to a current population of just under 20,000 breeding pairs.
There are still many obstacles to the growth of African penguin populations. These include: pollution, habitat degradation, food shortages, climate change, human disturbance and predators. The African penguin is listed as ENDANGERED.
In response to the endangered status in 2013 the Department of Environmental Affairs and a group of experts from various organisations formed the first national Biodiversity Management Plan (BMP) for the African penguin. Actions within this plan are carried out by two different working groups: the Population Reinforcement working group and the Habitat working group and the groups are made up of representatives from various organisations, including: Cape Nature, BirdLife SA, and SAN parks, to name a few.