Monday, September 1, 2014

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Penguin of the Day

Antarctic Wildlife: Penguin seeing off skua

A Gentoo shooing off a skua

Ready To Visit Maryland Zoo's Penguin Coast?

By Joanna Campbell
Penguin Coast is set to open September 27th at the Maryland Zoo and I was lucky enough to get a behind the scenes hard-hat tour…

RELATED: See the FULL Photo Gallery here

Penguin Coast will feature a 360-degree swimming area around a specially built facility designed with the animals and keepers in mind. The penguin building, modeled after a makeshift fishing and mining camp, will have better air circulation and a bigger kitchen then the current Rock Island facility, as well as a bathroom, showers, and lockers for keepers. There will also be a state-of-the-art safety system in place with fire alarms, security, and animal escape alarms.

Photo by JoPhoto by Jo

A super cool new feature will be the option to pay for behind the scene tours with the zoo’s ambassador penguins – with on site education and meet & greets (once the penguins have settled in to their new homes.)

The plan to move the penguins from Rock Island to a new home has been years in the making, but the actual construction started in July 2013. The 11-million-dollar project makes use of the old Hippo House, which has been vacant since 1999.

Photo by Jo
The Maryland Zoo has the one of the top penguin programs in the world, and their new home on Penguin Coast will showcase our little tuxedo-ed feathered friends in a fun and accessible way for fans of all ages!

For more:


Frantic search continues for baby penguin last seen being stuffed into a box

  • A person was seen taking injured penguin from Manly on Friday morning
  • Authorities are desperate for information but say 'no one is in trouble'
  • The penguin has not been taken to any Wildlife rescue agencies or vets
  • Office of Environment & Heritage want to know the bird's fate - dead or alive 
By Lucy Thackray for Daily Mail Australia
An injured little penguin is still missing 24 hours after it was taken from Manly Wharf on Friday morning, with wildlife officers holding grave concerns for its safety.

Authorities are desperate to find the penguin, dead or alive, and are appealing for members of the public come forward with information, assuring those involved that ‘no one is in trouble.’‘A person was seen taking the injured penguin away in a box early on Friday morning, but we know they were well-meaning. 'We want to know the penguin’s fate and if it’s still alive, to get it to the right place for treatment,’ a spokesperson for the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage told Daily Mail Australia.

The injured little penguin was taken from Manly Cove after a member of the public was seen stuffing it into a cardboard box early on Friday morning
The injured little penguin was taken from Manly Cove after a member of the public was seen stuffing it into a cardboard box early on Friday morning

‘No one is in trouble. A box was a right thing to do, it’s a quiet and dark place which can calm down an injured animal. With our connections, we know the penguin hasn’t been delivered to any wildlife rescue services or vets in the area, which is extremely concerning. 'We’d just like to know if it’s safe. Penguins are a protected species that need specialised 

The authorities ask that the penguin is dropped it off to Taronga Wildlife Hospital as soon as possible or to call 9978 4785 – even if it did not survive. 'People should report all sick and injured Little Penguins to NPWS duty officer on 9457 9577 in the first instance.'

The stolen penguin was found on the eastern side of Manly Wharf. It was injured and distressed, with a 'chewed tail',
The stolen penguin was found on the eastern side of Manly Wharf. It was injured and distressed, with a 'chewed tail.'

Members of the public who saw the incident were under the impression that the person who took the penguin away was a certified wildlife officer. National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), WIRES and Sydney Wildlife had been called to help the ‘distressed’ bird, who was found with a chewed tail and was being attacked by other birds, according to the Office of Environment and Heritage. When an NPWS personnel arrived, the penguin had already been taken away by a member of the public.

Authorities are appealing to the public to come forward with information about the stolen penguin. They want to know what has happened to it, 'dead or alive.' They assure those involved that 'no one is in trouble.'
Authorities are appealing to the public to come forward with information about the stolen penguin. They want to know what has happened to it, 'dead or alive.' They assure those involved that 'no one is in trouble.'

‘It’s an educational process. Lots of people pick up injured wildlife, but it’s always best to call WIRES, NPWS or Sydney Wildlife instead of picking the animal up. ‘Even if friends of family come forward, we would be delighted to have some information. We know the person was well-meaning, we’d just like to get the animal to the right place if we can to receive the care it needs.' Even if the penguin has died, authorities would like to know its fate.  ‘We microchip the penguins in the colony. Even if the bird has died, we want to know and get the animal back if we can to record its death as part of our research with the colony.’ 

This Week's Pencognito!

Please visit Jen and all the Pengies by clicking this link!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Penguins of the Day

King Penguin, Macquarie Island, Getty Images.
 King Penguin, Macquarie Island

Emperor Penguin, Antarctica. Getty Images.

Emperor Penguin, Antarctica

Friday, August 29, 2014

For Penguins’ Sake—How Conservation Efforts May Save the Tuxedoed Wonders

By Ryan Wallace 
Aug 29, 2014
Affected globally in recent decades due to multiple factors including climate change, pollution, habitat loss and fishery-related impacts, seabird species have become far more uncommon sites to be seen than ever before. Particularly vulnerable species, in all of their niché habitats, penguins have shown this effect as population sizes for the black and white birds have plummeted. In fact, all 18 penguin species face some sort of threat even today, as conservation efforts have become more well-defined. But researchers say that not all hope is lost for the penguin family.
Published earlier this month in the journal Conservation Biology, a team of international European and American conservation biologists sought to pinpoint the threats and difficulties facing all 18 species over the course of the last 250 years. By reviewing data and research collected by biologists worldwide over more than two centuries, the team was able to consider trends seen in range, distribution, population density and anthropogenic (human-caused) threats. "These [anthropogenic] threats were harvesting adults for oil, skin and feathers and as bait for crab and rock lobster fisheries; harvesting of eggs; terrestrial habitat degradation; marine pollution...climate change; and toxic algal poisoning and disease", and those are only the short list of threats, lead author from the British Antarctic Survey, Phil Trathan says.

(Photo : National Geographic)

Though nine serious threats were identified to have caused serious declines in penguin populations, the conservationists focused on three main causes, which humans can readily address. These included: ongoing habitat destruction caused by livestock and other foreign species, pollution from oils spills and marine debris, and injury and famine caused by increased fishing in their natural hunting areas. By paying more attention to the factors that seriously affect the species, the researchers are hopeful that governmental intervention can help penguins once again flourish in the absence of humans.

Though the researchers do not posit specific plans, they do generally suggest the implementation of more marine reserves called "Marine Protected Areas" (MPA) to help return the populations to natural conditions not interfered or altered by human presence and intervention. As not only hunting and pollution, but also climate change, exhibited serious trends in the study, the researchers insist that ongoing conservation actions and changes in the anthropogenic stresses placed on the niche habitats will be an essential necessity for conservation of the 18 species in the immediate future.

"Large-scale conservation zones are not always practical or politically feasible, and other ecosystem-based management methods that include spatial zoning, bycatch mitigation, and robust harvest control must be developed to maintain marine biodiversity and ensure that ecosystem functioning is maintained across a variety of scales" Trathan says. "We suggest protection of breeding habitat, linked to the designation of appropriately scaled marine reserves, including in the High Seas, will be critical for the future conservation of penguins worldwide."


Authorities desperate to find injured and distressed little penguin stolen from Manly Cove

.A little penguin was taken from Manly Cove yesterday.
CONCERNS are held for the welfare of a little penguin that was last seen being put in a box on the eastern side of Manly Wharf early yesterday morning.

.The distressed and injured little penguin was first spotted about 6am and calls were made to the National Parks and Wildlife Service, WIRES and Sydney Wildlife. But by the time an NPWS person arrived, the penguin had been placed in a box by someone and taken away. The NPWS’s little penguin coordinator Mel Tyas said the NPWS was extremely concerned for the bird’s plight and stressed that it would need immediate help.

A little penguin was seen being put into a box at Manly Cove yesterday.

“We have people who confirmed seeing it being taken away in a cardboard box but we have been unable to track its whereabouts since then,” she said. “The penguin was seen by a number of people who described it as having what appeared to be a chewed tail and was being attacked by birds on the eastern side of Manly Wharf.
The penguin was taken from the eastern side of Manly Wharf.
The penguin was taken from the eastern side of Manly Wharf.

“With our close connections to Taronga Zoo, WIRES and the Sydney Metropolitan Wildlife Service, we know it was not picked up by these agencies, which is troubling as the little bird will need specialist care. “If someone did pick it up, we would ask the well-meaning person to drop it off to Taronga Wildlife Hospital as soon as possible or call 9978 4785 – even if it did not survive “Little penguins are not like their Antarctic cousins and don’t like to be out in the cold – a sick kittle penguin really needs very specialist care if it is to be nurtured back to health. “Someone must know what happened to it, so if you know where it is, dead or alive, please let us know straight away.”

.A little penguin was taken from Manly Cove yesterday.
The little penguin is likely to be distressed and in need of care.

Ms Tyas said that even if the little penguin did not survive, it was important that the bird was examined and its microchip checked to determine which penguin it was and which nesting site it was from.  She said that people should report all sick and injured little penguins to NPWS duty officer on 9457 9577 immediately.


Everyone Has a Bad Day--Even Penguins

Poor little Adelie Penguin chick...

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Two Baby Penguins Take First Dive at Aquarium of the Pacific's Penguin Habitat

Photos by Brian Addison. More photos below.

The Aquarium of the Pacific introduced two new souls to the public today as they waddled into the June Keyes Penguin Habitat for the first time.

The pair of female chicks are two of four baby penguins birthed earlier this year and are part of the Magellanic Penguin family. Native to Argentina and Chile, the babies are sporting beautifully shiny coats—much to the chagrin and frustration of their adult counterparts, who are going through the aggravating two-week long process of molting (and currently look mighty angry about it).

If you're curious about their names, well, their monikers could very well be up to you. The public will have the opportunity to name one of the chicks through the Aquarium's Adopt-a-Chick program. When you participate in the program by donating $100 or more before October 31, you will be given the chance to submit a name.

The parents of the chick born in late May are Kate and Avery—two of the Aquarium’s birds that were rescued off the coast of Brazil. The parents of the second female penguin born this summer are Patsy and Noodles.

The penguins are available to view by visiting the Aquarium of the Pacific, located at 100 Aquarium Way. For more information and tickets, click here.


Penguins of the Day

Rockhopper penguins. Getty Images. 
How to make Rockhopper Penguins

Tuesday, August 26, 2014