Table of Contents
- 1 Why do African penguins live in Africa?
- 2 When did penguins come to South Africa?
- 3 Why are African penguins important?
- 4 Why are African penguins going extinct?
- 5 What threatens the African penguin?
- 6 Do penguins fly?
- 7 What kind of penguins live in southern Africa?
- 8 Why are African penguins important to the ecosystem?
Why do African penguins live in Africa?
African penguins live in colonies on the coast and islands of southern Africa. To keep dry and insulated in cold water, African penguins are covered in dense, water-proof feathers. These feathers are white on the belly and black on the back, which aids in camouflage.
When did penguins come to South Africa?
The African penguin occurs from Namibia down the coast to the cape of South Africa, mainly on offshore islands. Only four colonies are on the mainland. In 1985, a bunch of penguins established a breeding colony on a breathtaking beach near Simon’s Town, on False Bay, a short drive from Cape Town.
Where do African penguins go?
African penguins are found along coastal areas and offshore islands. Their preferred habitats are flat sandy areas with sparse or abundant vegetation growth, or steep, rocky sites with sparse vegetation.
Why are there penguins in Cape Town?
The penguins first came to False Bay in 1983 from Dyer Island, which is near Gansbaai. Back then, there was plenty for them to eat and the colony grew rapidly. Sadly, commercial fishing, marine pollution, and habitat destruction have taken their toll on the colony.
Why are African penguins important?
Why do they matter? The African penguin is the only species of penguin found in Africa. They play important roles in their ecosystem, both as a food source for sharks and seals and also act as predators to small fish such as anchovies and sardines.
Why are African penguins going extinct?
Populations of the endangered African penguin are declining in the wild due to a variety of threats, including oil spills and depleted prey populations as a result of overfishing.
What are baby penguins called?
Baby penguins are called chicks or nestlings.
Where does the African penguin originate from?
Distribution and habitat The African penguin is only found on the south-western coast of Africa, living in colonies on 24 islands between Namibia and Algoa Bay, near Port Elizabeth, South Africa. It is the only penguin species that breeds in Africa, and its presence gave name to the Penguin Islands.
What threatens the African penguin?
African Penguins face several challenges caused by human activities. Today, excessive fishing of the Penguins’ prey, oil pollution and entanglement in fishing gear are some of the threats they face. In fact, the total population of the African Penguin has fallen by more than 50 per cent since 1978.
Do penguins fly?
No, technically penguins cannot fly. Penguins are birds, so they do have wings. However, the wing structures of penguins are evolved for swimming, rather than flying in the traditional sense. Penguins swim underwater at speeds of up to 15 to 25 miles per hour .
Do penguins have tails?
A penguin’s tail is short and wedge-shaped. Adelie, gentoo and chinstrap penguins (known as brush-tailed penguins) have 14 to 18 stiff tail feathers, which they often use as a prop when on land. Penguins have about 80 feathers per square inch—more than any other bird.
What kills a penguin?
The main threats for penguins in water are leopard seals, fur seals, sea lions, sharks and killer whales. On land, foxes, snakes, lizards, dogs and some other animals are a threat for eggs and chicks in the case of species not in the Antarctic regions, like the Galapagos penguin among others.
What kind of penguins live in southern Africa?
The African penguin, ( Spheniscus demersus ), also known as the Cape penguin, and South African penguin, is a species of penguin confined to southern African waters. Like all extant penguins, it is flightless, with a streamlined body, and wings stiffened and flattened into flippers for a marine habitat.
Why are African penguins important to the ecosystem?
African penguins and other sea birds that feed on fish can be used as indicators of location and variability of marine resources and ecosystem changes. The African penguins also form part of the diet of top sea predators such as sharks and seals.
Who is working to stop the decline of the African penguin?
Many organisations such as SANCCOB, Dyer Island Conservation Trust, SAMREC and Raggy Charters with the Penguin Research Fund in Port Elizabeth are working to halt the decline of the African penguin.
When is the breeding season for African penguins?
African penguins have an extended breeding season, which enables them to breed throughout the year. The peak of the breeding season in Namibia (November to December) tends to be earlier than the peak for South Africa (March to May). African penguins usually produce one to two eggs per clutch and incubation lasts 38–41 days.