Thursday, September 3, 2015

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

#Penguin of the Day

Gentoo Penguin 

Gentoo Penguin by Sandro Menzel

Conservationists step up anti-fox effort after attack on Sydney penguin colony

Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife wants to install motion-sensing cameras, a thermal camera and flashing-light fox deterrents

In June, a fox discovered the colony of little penguins in the Sydney suburb of Manly, resulting in carnage. Photograph: David Gray/Reuters

Oliver Milman
Wednesday 2 September 2015

Conservationists want to install motion-sensing cameras and fox-deterring lights at the last mainland penguin colony in New South Wales, after a fox killed 27 of the endangered birds in just 11 days.
In June, a fox discovered the colony of little penguins in the Sydney suburb of Manly, resulting in carnage. There were just 60 breeding pairs in the colony before the attacks.

The fox thought responsible was subsequently shot. It had evaded various traps to infiltrate the colony.

The Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife, which has helped fund volunteers and nest boxes for the penguins since 1999, now wants to install new technology to thwart further fox attacks.

The group is seeking $20,000 to install 20 motion-sensing cameras, a thermal camera to detect the body heat of predators and five fox deterrents that emit bright flashing lights. It will also buy a further 10 nesting boxes to help the penguins rebuild their population.

The penguin colony was declared endangered in 1997. Foxes, dogs and urban development have wiped out other penguin populations in NSW, with only a few island-based groups left. Manly is the last mainland penguin location in the state.

Monitoring of the colony shows that it had been in decent health – the 2013-14 breeding season was successful with 174 eggs laid and 146 chicks emerging.

Little penguins are found only in southern Australia and New Zealand. They are less than 40cm tall and weigh just 1kg, but have razor-sharp beaks and can provide a nasty nip to people who flout the law by trying to pick them up.

“The tragedy of the fox attack makes this fundraising extremely important,” said Susanna Bradshaw, the foundation’s chief executive.

Little penguins from Australia settle into New York home – video
“This is the only mainland breeding colony left in NSW and I think the people of Manly have a sense of ownership over them. We want to reach out to the local community to help.”
The foundation has launched a fundraising page for the defence of the penguin colony.


Population of African Penguins along South Africa’s West Coast has dropped by 90%

Written by Betty Laseter on 02 Sep 2015

African penguins, the tourist attraction near Cape Town, South Africa, which are the continents only flightless bird are on the verge of being extinct. This rapid decline has led to a ban on commercial fishing in four key areas seven years ago to see whether that could help save the penguins.

Although officials have put a ban on fishing in almost four key areas seven years ago to help save the penguins. But still scientists are debating whether fishing is the only major threat to the population of the species.

As per experts, if the present situation continued, then in no time the specie will disappear. In the 1930s, South Africa's largest colony had a several million of African penguins. But at present only 100,000 of the birds remain in all of South Africa and neighboring Namibia, the only places where the species exists.

Population of African Penguins along South Africa’s West Coast has dropped by 90
Anchovies and sardines, which are the biggest components of South Africa's fishing industry, are also the primary food sources of the African penguins. Both fisheries scientists and bird specialists agree that the decline of the penguin began around 2004 with a shift in anchovies and sardines away from the colonies.

Scientists said they are still not sure why the fish have moved from the colonies, but they hypotheses that the possible cause could be climate change, overfishing and natural fluctuations. So far several penguins have died or abandoned their chicks, with hundreds winding up in the crowded outdoor pens of a rehabilitation center run by the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds, which releases rehabilitated penguins into the wild every week.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Over $15,000 Raised for Yellow-Eyed Penguins

1st September, 2015

Over $15,000 Raised for Yellow-Eyed Penguins on Real Journeys ‘Cruise-for-a-Cause’
The Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust will employ a researcher to find out why yellow-eyed penguin numbers are decreasing near Stewart Island, following a $15,335 funding boost from Real Journeys ‘Cruise-for-a-Cause’ initiative.

In the last twelve years, the number of penguin breeding pairs has almost halved on Codfish Island/Whenua Hou near Stewart Island/Rakiura and the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust (YEPT) needed external funding to help find out why this was occurring on a predator-free island.

As a successful applicant for Real Journeys ‘Cruise-for-a-Cause’, the penguin trust was able to sell tickets to an entire Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise and keep 100% of all the money raised.

Seventy-two guests enjoyed the pre-season cruise over the weekend, complete with dinner, breakfast and kayaking. It was also the final training preparation for the Real Journeys Fiordland Navigator staff. “What a team! Their enthusiasm for the wonders of the fiords, wildlife and weather was infectious!” says Sue Murray, General Manager, YEPT. “We had the best trip ever – I only heard praise from all on board!” (See the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust’s account of the trip attached.)

“The funds raised from the sale of tickets will support the monitoring of yellow-eyed penguins on Rakiura/Stewart Island over the next breeding season,” says Sue. “Thank you Real Journeys for this wonderful opportunity both to raise funds and for us to appreciate this world class location.”

Real Journeys Chief Executive, Richard Lauders says the fundraiser was “a great way to start our Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise season. It’s good for our training and our teams love being part of it. The same community initiative will launch our Milford Sound Overnight Cruises later this month (18 Sept) and this time the Queenstown Lakes Family Centre is the charity involved. They’re adding a unique twist by bringing an opera singer on board and there are still tickets available; so support them if you can – we’d like to help them raise heaps.”

Last month, Real Journeys held a “Birds of a Feather Charity Ball” at Walter Peak, which raised over $35,000 towards Kakapo Recovery and this week the company is holding a special Discovery Expedition to raise funds for the Department of Conservation’s Dusky Sound Conservation and Restoration Programme.


Calgary Zoo wants public's help naming penguin chick

by 660News Staff

Calgary Zoo wants public's help naming penguin chick
Emilio, Alejandro, or Lorenzo… you get to decide!!
Humboldt Penguin Chick1WM
The Calgary Zoo is looking to Calgarians for help deciding the name of the newest Humboldt penguin chick.
Trish Exton-Parder with the zoo says keepers have come up with a few spanish names based on the species as Humboldt penguins are from South America.
You have until the end of the week to cast your vote on the zoo’s website.


Three penguins chicks ready for their first close-up at the Detroit Zoo

This female marconi penguin chick is one of three penguins born at the Detroit Zoo in May and now making its first appearance. Jennie Miller - Detroit Zoo
Looking like small tuxedoed guests, three penguin chicks are making their public debut at the Detroit Zoo’s Penguinarium. The trio hatched in late May. They “joined the Zoo’s adult penguin colony once they ‘fledged,’ or grew their juvenile feathers,” said zoo spokeswoman Patricia Janeway in a statement.

The hatchlings are Bubbles, a male rockhopper; Vivie, a female marconi; and Minnie, a female rockhopper. Minnie is the first born of Tina, a 31-year-old penguin at the zoo. “Rockhopper penguins live an average of 10 years in the wild,” said Scott Carter, chief life sciences officer at the zoo, in a statement, “so for one to have a chick at 31 is significant. Tina’s long life is typical of many animals in zoos -- the result of proper diet, regular health care and the absence of predators.”

The zoo is home to four species of penguins, including marconi, rockhopper, king and gentoo. All the penguins are scheduled to be moved into a new home early next year after the zoo completes the Polk Penguin Conservation Center near the front of the grounds at 10 Mile and Woodward.

Once completed, the $29.5 million center will cover 33,000 square feet and be the largest of its kind in the world. One dramatic feature of the facility will be a penguin “deep dive” with views above and below water as the birds dive and soar through 310,00 gallons of chilled water in a 25-foot-deep aquatic area. The feature will allow visitors to see the penguins deep dive which is something that cannot be seen anywhere else, according to the zoo’s website. The facility will also have 4-D effects such as arctic blasts. rough waves and snow, and elements such as ice crevasses.

After the zoo’s more than 80 penguins move into the new center, the former Penguinarium will be turned into a bat conservation center.


3 Minutes in the life of a Gentoo Penguin (video)

#Penguins of the Day

Feed me, feed me - magellanics at Saunders airstrip 
Feed me, feed me - magellanics at Saunders airstrip by Sue

Penguin walks over elephant seal-seal is NOT happy (video)