Struggle for African penguin survival intensifies

African penguins face extinction by 2035 unless immediate conservation action is taken, warns a leading seabird conservationist.

Jenny Hill reports for the BBC.


In short:

  • African penguins have lost 99% of their population over the past century and are declining at a rate of 8% annually.
  • Legal action has been initiated against the South African government for failing to protect these endangered seabirds.
  • The penguins’ main food sources, sardines and anchovies, are being depleted by commercial fishing, further threatening their survival.

Key quote:

“We cannot let a species go extinct on our watch.”

— Kate Handley, Biodiversity Law Centre

Why this matters:

African penguins serve as a key indicator species; their decline signals profound ecological shifts that could have cascading effects on other marine life and the health of the oceans. Native to the coastlines of southern Africa, these penguins have faced relentless threats, primarily from oil spills, overfishing, and climate change, which have drastically reduced their food sources and disrupted their breeding habitats.

Also see: Scientists race to save seabirds threatened by climate change

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