The African penguin population is under severe pressure. Currently classified as endangered, the population in South Africa is in a consistent state of decline. We’ve lost over 95% of the global population and with each season that passes, the population reaches record lows.
They face predation pressure, both at the colonies and at sea. Cape fur seals are a significant predator in the water and kelp gulls predate on eggs and chicks. At the mainland colonies, caracal and mongoose are also predators that can have substantial impact on the population. There have also been huge losses of penguins through oiling events. However, climate change and the increase in frequency of extreme weather events impacts the penguins through nest flooding and mortalities through hyper and hypothermia.
The largest threat currently is a reduced availability of their preferred prey, sardine and anchovy.
We need your support to create a future for people and nature
Make a symbolic adoption of an African penguin today to show your love and support for our marine ecosystem.
What is WWF doing?
WWF takes an ecosystem-based approach when trying to protect species, looking at our approach holistically. Habitat improvement is being undertaken in a variety of ways to increase shade of nests and limit exposure to the elements. Where possible, individual predators are removed. Together with our partners, oiled birds are rescued and sent for rehabilitation.
WWF is also in a coalition with other like-minded organisations. We actively engage government and the small pelagic fishery, advocating for improved spatial management around penguin colonies to reduce competition between the fishery and penguins for sardine and anchovy.
In addition, WWF is also advocating for government to implement an ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF) which is a far more holistic approach in managing fisheries considering socio-economic, governance and ecosystem impacts of fisheries.
How does the symbolic adoption work?
First of all: thank you. You’re choosing something different. This is not a normal gift. This is a special gift because it will help protect the beautiful and fragile nature that surrounds us.
This is a perfect gift for animal lovers, environmentalists or simply people with a big heart.
What you get
A digital symbolic adoption certificate.
A beautiful digital photograph.
An optional soft toy to love forever. *Toy may vary from image shown.
We'll keep you updated on how you're supporting our vital work including sending you adoption updates two to three times a year.
Did you know?
African penguins are monogamous; they mate with the same individual for many years.
An average dive of an African penguin lasts 2.5 minutes.
They dig nests in guano or sand and try to use the shade of bushes when possible to protect their eggs.
Because of their specialist feeding behaviour on sardine and anchovy, they’re an indicator species for the health of the Southern Benguela Marine Ecosystem.