CapeNature and the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) will premiere a virtual celebration of the sixth annual Penguin Palooza on Saturday, 4 December 2021 at 10h00, across the organisations' social media platforms. The endangered African penguin species at the Stony Point penguin colony is a priority for the collaborative conservation efforts between the entities.
CapeNature and SANCCOB have successfully undertaken proactive measures at the colony to reverse the decline of the African penguin species. One such measure is the employment of an assistant marine ranger based at Stony Point to monitor birds in the wild, contribute to research activities, and intervene with seabirds in distress when necessary. In the midst of the recent outbreak of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in wild seabirds, over 130 African penguin chicks were rescued due to moulting parents that had left the chicks abandoned in their nests. The chicks were transported to a quarantine facility pending the outcome of HPAI tests and subsequently transferred to SANCCOB's Cape Town centre for hand-rearing, where they will remain until ready for release. Without this critical intervention, the chicks would have faced starvation, dehydration and anaemia.
Natalie Maskell, SANCCOB’s Chief Executive Officer says, “Partnering with CapeNature has proven to be hugely beneficial for seabirds, in particular the African penguin, and for SANCCOB to meet its strategic objective to bolster wild populations of seabirds, through rescue, rehabilitation, preparedness and response, advocacy, education and public awareness. We rely on the support of the conservation authorities managing the colonies and through our ranger projects we are able to reciprocate with our support. The rate of decline of the African penguin species is alarming and it can’t be reversed without organisations working together through supportive partnerships.”
According to Dr Razeena Omar, CEO: CapeNature, “The most recent census reveals that the Stony Point penguin colony holds an estimated 1 623 breeding pairs of African penguins, which is 16% of the total South African population of the species. CapeNature and SANCCOB remain committed to the success of its partnership and we celebrate the outcomes that have been achieved together”.
This year’s virtual event includes a competition for members of the public to stand a chance to win a two-night stay for four people at CapeNature’s Blacktail Chalet near the Goukamma Nature Reserve. Entrants need only watch the social media premiere, answer a question, like and share the post, and tag five people to stand a chance to win.