Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Save the penguins: Chicks could be facing extinction

STARVING penguin chicks are facing a Christmas crisis, British experts warned yesterday. 
So far this month 430 African penguin chicks have been brought to the Sanccob rehabilitation centres 
Francois Louw 

So far this month 430 African penguin chicks have been brought to the Sanccob rehabilitation centres
And they urged Britons charmed by the festive John Lewis penguin advert to donate cash to help save the threatened birds.

Rescue centres in South Africa have been swamped by chicks abandoned by parents due to a lack of food. So far this month 430 African penguin chicks have been brought to the Sanccob rehabilitation centres which are supported by Bristol Zoological Society.

Last year over the entire November and December chick season the rescue centres dealt with 440 abandoned birds. The rescue centres include one on Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was held in prison off Cape Town.
As African penguin populations are currently facing a crisis due to a diminished food supply near their nesting colonies, there is a substantial risk that this species could eventually become extinct without action
~~Dr Christoph Schwitzer, Director of Conservation at Bristol Zoological Society
African penguins have  declined by 98 per cent in the past century   and there are fewer than 18,000 breeding pairs left in the wild. There are fears that without concerted action the species could soon become extinct.

Every year large numbers of penguin chicks are abandoned by their parents when their month-long moult begins and they are unable to swim out to sea to gather fish for them. The chicks that have not already fledged are abandoned and would starve to death without conservationists' help.

This year the crisis has intensified due to steep declines in fish stocks which  meant parents struggled to feed their young. Dr Christoph Schwitzer, Director of Conservation at Bristol Zoological Society said: “Unless conservation organisations intervene, these chicks will starve to death. "As African penguin populations are currently facing a crisis due to a diminished food supply near their nesting colonies, there is a substantial risk that this species could eventually become extinct without action.”

But this year the crisis has got worse because the price of fish has soared. This means that an extra £20,000 is needed before Christmas to pay for food and care for the chicks.

Bristol Zoological Society yesterday urged as many people as possible to  to donate to this cause via http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/penguinappeal

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Penguin of the Day

Yellow Eyed Penguin 03 by es32

South Georgia's King Penguins

Glen Milner gets up close and personal with the king penguins of South Georgia

11 Sep 2014

Glen Milner, 31, has been a documentary filmmaker for nearly a decade, covering a range of stories from drug cartels in Mexico to the lives of inuits dealing with climate change in the Arctic. He recently returned from a video assignment in South Georgia, capturing the island’s dramatic landscape and wildlife.
According to Milner, “The first thing that really hits you about South Georgia is the cinematic beauty of the place. When our expedition boat, the Polar Pioneer, anchored in King Haakon bay, we were faced with panoramic views of glaciers, snow-capped mountain ranges and moss-carpeted hills. It had the feeling of a feature-film location that would be chosen for having a uniquely diverse landscape, which seems somewhat at odds with the extreme weather conditions. It felt like a fictional fantasy world.”

Glen Milner recently returned from South Georgia (Photo: Glen Milner)
 
Were there any challenges in getting up-close to animals that make South Georgia their home? “Being confronted by the odd bad tempered seal was the trickiest challenge for me, really. You can prepare yourself for working in the freezing temperatures of the Antarctic region but when you get the camera set-up and a male elephant seal comes into frame hurtling towards you, it can be a bit unnerving. They can launch out of the sea from nowhere and move really quickly for such big animals but most of the younger ones are pretty friendly and inquisitive animals.”

It is home to a huge colony of king penguins (Photo: Glen Milner)
It’s the encounters with bird life that will stay with him though: “Landing on Salisbury Plain on the north coast was a truly unique experience. It has one of the largest king penguin colonies in the world and you feel like you’ve stumbled across the world’s entire population of these birds. Thousands of them reach as far as the eye can see to a point where they become little white dots far-off in the distance. When you lie down with your camera and keep still they happily approach you to poke and prod in order to try figure out what you are. It’s a strange sensation but also one you don’t forget.”


"It felt like a fictional fantasy world" (Photo: Glen Milner)

His next projects couldn’t provide more of a contrast. “The next few things I have coming out soon include two shorts for Channel 4, one on a blind lady that goes to every Leeds United match with her teenage son and the other capturing one of the oldest married couples in the world - an Indian family based in Bradford. It’s not all penguins in South Georgia!”


"They happily approach you to poke and prod in order to try figure out what you are" (Photo: Glen Milner)

source 

Artist creates disturbing penguin-seal hybrids from those oversexed seal videos

For those who struggled to unsee the horrific images of fur seals forcing themselves on female king penguins, a graphic artist has come up with something to replace them.
Los Angeles-based graphic artist has imagined what the potential result of these unholy alliances would look like, and unsurprisingly, they're rather cute. Sarah Lee DeRemer, 25, photo-shopped penguins and seals together to create the hypothetical hybrid offspring.
It's a Senguin! A US graphic artist has imagined what the babies of a seal and a penguin would look like
It's a Senguin! A US graphic artist has imagined what the babies of a seal and a penguin would look like. However, these cute images have a very sincere undertone, following last week's revelation that fur seals have been raping king penguins on a small island off the coast of South Africa.
The disturbing behavior of a group of fur seals on Marion Island, sub-Antarctic Indian Ocean, was revealed by a group of South African scientists last week.
Astonishing footage captured by the group showed an enormous seal attacking a female king penguin and forcing itself on her.  

'You are no child of mine': As cute as it might look, the king penguin does not look happy to have had a half seal-half penguin baby
'My daddy did what?' A baby seal has been given a penguin's beak and eyes in this hybrid creation
'My daddy did what?' A baby seal has been given a penguin's beak and eyes in this hybrid creation

'I've got my father's nose': Artist Sarah Lee 
A baby peal: A baby penguin has been given the face of a seal pup in this photoshopped hybrid 
A baby peal: A baby penguin has been given the face of a seal pup in this photoshopped hybrid
The scientists said they have made four separate observations of individual Antarctic fur seals sexually assaulting adult king penguins as they tried to resist.
'Given the awful news stories of penguins being raped by fur seals, I felt it my hybridizing obligation to explore the hypothetical offspring of these assaults,' Ms DeRemer explains.
Attack: On four recent occasions, researchers spotted Antarctic fur seals sexually harassing king penguins on Marion Island off the coast of South Africa
Attack: On four recent occasions, researchers spotted Antarctic fur seals sexually harassing king penguins on Marion Island off the coast of South Africa

source

Watch the moment a baby gentoo penguin emerges from its shell (Video)


The baby Gentoo hatched after 34 days of incubation

Incredible footage has emerged of the moment a baby gentoo penguin broke free of its shell in an animal park in north-west China.

A monitoring camera set-up in the penguin enclosure at the Hangzhou Polar Ocean Park, Zhejiang Province, captured the tiny long-tailed gentoo penguin as it breaks through the shell and sees the world for the first time.

In the video taken on the 20 November, we see the baby break the shell in half, before struggling to find its feet and escape its case.

The video then cuts to the penguin’s mother as she uses her beak to reposition the new arrival and bring it into the warmth of her underbelly.

 It is very rare for the birth process to be captured at such close quarters and has given staff at the Polar Ocean Park an incredible insight into the birthing process of the species.

In the wild, female gentoo penguins usually lay two eggs with four days of one another; they will then be incubated for a period of around 34 days before hatching.

The chicks will continue to be fed and cared for by their mother for around 14 weeks.

The video emerged yesterday on Chinese News Channel CCTV, and has subsequently been uploaded onto their Youtube channel.

This is the latest gentoo to be born in captivity in recent times.

In August, Tennessee Aquarium in the US welcomed two new Gentoos to their penguin enclosure.

source

Friday, November 21, 2014

Penguins of the Day

Northern Rockhopper Penguin (Eudyptes moseleyi) 

Northern Rockhopper Penguin (Eudyptes moseleyi) by Rafael Matias


Snares Penguin (Eudyptes robustus) 

Snares Penguin (Eudyptes robustus) by Rafael Matias

Newport Penguins Will "Host" Movie Preview

Nov 20, 2014
The penguins of Newport are heading to the red carpet to welcome the "Penguins of Madagascar" to northern Kentucky next week.

The Newport Aquarium's African penguins will walk the red carpet at the 2:15 p.m. EST Nov. 26 showing of the film at AMC Theatres at Newport on the Levee. Moviegoers will get an exclusive penguin encounter to celebrate the film's opening.

The aquarium announced Wednesday it has entered a partnership with the theatre to sell combo tickets including admission to the aquarium and the film.

The aquarium's Kroger Penguin Palooza has five species of penguin: king, chinstrap, Gentoo, macaroni and rockhopper. The African penguins are on exhibit in the aquarium's Penguin House. The birds can be visited with the addition of a Penguin Encounter to the admission ticket.

source

FLUFFY ALERT: Baby penguin first of its kind in Russia

XX

Updated: Wednesday, November 19 2014
KRASNOYARSK, Russia (NBC News) --

Zookeepers in a Siberian city are taking care of a baby penguin that is the first of its kind born in Russia. The baby bird, or nestling, is a banded penguin, one of a South African breed protected by the government as an endangered species. A researcher at the zoo in Krasnoyarsk, who also takes care of the nestling, says it's the first baby of this kind of bird in Russia. As of now, the zoo has eight banded penguins. At the moment, the newly-hatched penguin is being kept and fed in an incubator. Specialists say the nestling will not appear in public until it grows bigger.

source