Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Penguin of the Day

Content Emperor Penguin Chick

Click on the image for wallpaper size

Another Little Penguin fall’s victim to dogs running free


Little Penguin Amber now able to open her eyes
Little Penguin Amber now able to open her eyes

At 07:30 today AMWRRO was notified by the South Australian Police that a Little Penguin was found at Middleton beach in need of help. The bird was very unsteady on its feet and was disorientated.  

The bird was housed at a local address whilst a rescue crew attended to collect the bird.  
On admission the bird was unable to open its eyes due to a heavy load of sand that was caked on by blood; once cleaned the full extent of her injuries were revealed. The young female had several open wounds covering her head and around her eyes caused by a dog attack.

Unfortunately this is something seen all too often at AMWRRO, this year we have recorded over 22 penguins maimed by off leash dogs and these are the lucky ones. 

AMWRRO suspects hundreds more would fall victim each year but are never found or, are killed either by the dog itself or by savaging foxes whilst hiding in sand dunes at night.
This Little Penguin has been named Amber and she is finally recovering from her ordeal but is still in a critical condition. 

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Watch: Ireland's first gentoo penguin chick hatches

Majella O’Sullivan
Published 22/07/2014|

Majella O’Sullivan

Published 22/07/2014|

Majella O’Sullivan

Published 22/07/2014|

The first gentoo penguin chick to be born in this country has hatched.

The little chick made its appearance at the Oceanworld Aquarium in Dingle, Co Kerry last Wednesday.

However, it will be at least another couple of months before his keepers will be able to determine his six.

Proud parents, Sneachta (4) and Fletcher (7) are taking it in turns to feed their chick and keep him warm.

This is the first successful hatching at the popular aquarium that has housed a gentoo colony for the last couple of years.

Penguin keeper Louise Overy said the new arrival has caused fierce excitement both among the other penguins and the staff.

“We’ve waited three years for this to happen and it least now we know that because they’re breeding successfully, it means they’re happy here,” she told Independent.ie.

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“It’s also good news for the future because if this pair can do it, they all can.”

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Checkers the penguin struts her stuff at Staten Island Zoo (with video, photo gallery)


Checkers the African Penquin is getting the once over from the kids during the presentation at the Staten Island Zoo auditorium. (Staten Island Advance/Hilton Flores) Hilton Flores

By Virginia N. Sherry
July 21, 2014
WEST BRIGHTON --

 
Checkers the African penguin puts on a show at the Staten Island Zoo

A waddling female penguin named Checkers charmed animal-loving children and adults at the Staten Island Zoo Sunday afternoon. Hatched 19 years ago, the short little aquatic bird starred in educational presentations in the Zoo's auditorium, focused on penguin biology, geography, and behavior, courtesy of Jenkinson's Aquarium Penguin Habitat in Point Pleasant, N.J.

Laura Graziano, a curator at the Aquarium who handled Checkers and delivered the informative presentations, urged the audience to be as quiet as possible. "Penguins have excellent hearing, better than ours," she said.

In introducing Checkers, she explained that her breed, the African penguin, is native to South Africa, where temperatures are between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, dispelling the commonly held assumptions that penguins thrive only in frigid climates.

Another fact: "All wild penguins live in environments at the bottom half of the world, south of the Equator," Ms. Graziano explained. None inhabit the Arctic, Alaska or the northern reaches of Canada. "Polar bears and penguins never see each other in the wild," she commented. Most penguins live in Antarctica, and others in places such as Australia and South American, she said.

The audience also learned that penguins are birds that do not fly, and use their small wings as flippers, for swimming. Penguins do not have teeth, and swallow their food -- fish and shrimp -- whole because the birds cannot chew. Penguin feathers are "very tiny," Ms. Graziano added, providing both warmth and water proofing.

A last fact: "Penguins grow very big very fast, and reach full size in three or four months. The smallest breed of penguins weights one to two pounds, and the largest about 90 pounds," the curator said.
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Southern penguins benefit from Doc decision


Liz Slooten.
Liz Slooten.
Otago's yellow-eyed penguins are the winners and endangered Maui's and Hector's dolphins on the North Island's east coast the losers in the latest round of observer programme allocations. The Department of Conservation released its conservation services programme plan recently, outlining the observer programme for New Zealand's commercial fisheries for 2014-15.

University of Otago marine scientist Liz Slooten said the increase in observer days by 77 to 2487 made for an ''ineffective observer programme.'' ''What needs to happen in the inshore fishery is that number needs to be doubled or trebled.''

Added to that was the shift of observer hours from one fishery to another, and in some cases to fisheries that had no impact on Maui's or Hector's dolphins, such as on the west coast of the North Island, she said. There appeared to be no clear rationale for the move or for why some fisheries were observed 25% of the time and others 65% of the time, she said.

For the trawl fishery on the east coast of the North Island, only 25% observer coverage was planned, yet there was less protection for the dolphins from the fishery in that area. ''It's really urgent we find out the impact on dolphins and sea lions in the inshore trawl fisheries.''

The Government did not appear to be listening to its scientists' advice, which stated they could not establish an accurate estimate of dolphin by-catch in those areas because of a lack of information, she said.

However, the east and south coasts of the South Island benefited from these changes, with observers to monitor penguin interactions 65% of the time along the east coast set net fishery and 100% of the time in the small inshore fishery.

Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust field officer Dave McFarlane was pleased with the observer coverage assigned to Otago's yellow-eyed penguin foraging and breeding areas along the coast from Waitaki to Slope Point, and from Stewart Island to Fiordland.

The trust had been saying for many years more information was needed on set-net fishing impacts on penguins as the population declined and faced challenges related to the sea such as starvation. ''These are not helped by by-catch. There is a clear need for this,'' he said.

Ministry for Primary Industries inshore fisheries manager Steve Halley said coverage decisions were informed by many processes, including previous observer data, ministerial decisions and available risk assessments, the nature of the fishing activity, potential overlap with the protected species and the likely risk of an interaction occurring.

For Maui's dolphins, ministerial decisions informed observer coverage, including mandatory observer coverage on commercial set-net vessels around Taranaki and an increase in observer coverage of the trawl fishery on the west coast of the North Island from 25% in the first year to 100% in four years' time, Mr Halley said.

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Devon penguins head for Central Asia


By WhitleyTrust  |  Posted: July 21, 2014
2014 07 LC Tbilisi penguins
Arriving at Tbilisi Zoo

Living Coasts has sent 20 penguins to Eastern Europe as part of a major new initiative. The coastal conservation charity has donated the birds to Tblisi Zoo in the former Soviet republic of Georgia to start a brand new colony.

Living Coasts Operations Manager Clare Rugg explained: "They have built a penguin exhibit from scratch with our advice and input – we have been working with them because they have just joined EAZA, the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, the body which represents top zoological collections across Europe. This is the first EAZA move to Georgia."

Georgia is in the Caucasus region, at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, with the Black Sea to the West, Russia to the north and Turkey to the south. Tbilisi is the capital.

For Clare, the move is as much about bureaucracy as birds. As well as making all the transport arrangements (as the receiving collection, Tblisi Zoo pays this particular bill) and satisfying the complexities of Georgian law, she has to work her way through a range of animal welfare and conservation measures.

There's TRACES (Trade Control and Expert System), a web-based veterinarian certification tool used by the European Union for controlling the import and export of live animals; she also needs to clear the move through CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), the international agreement that ensures that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. "The paperwork is what takes the time! For a new country you have to find out what the government veterinary authorities require for the birds to move into that country. We also need to know what health tests the zoo requires. We need to send the computerized ARKS - Animal Record Keeping System - records of the birds to the person organising the move in Georgia."

Keepers from Tbilisi Zoo visited Living Coasts in November 2013 to learn penguin husbandry methods.

The African penguins – about half and half male and female - travelled the 3,000 miles from the English Riviera to the mountainous Caucasus region by road, sea and air. They made the journey with specialist animal carrier EKIPA in crates especially designed to meet their welfare needs as set out by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the trade association of airlines. The key is to keep the birds cool and as stress free as possible on the long journey; there were fish and a water spray available en route.

Clare: "It's sad to see them go, but exciting to think we are a part of this new venture."

The penguins arrived safely in Tbilisi. Zoo keeper Giorgi Darcho reported: "They all appear well and enjoy swimming in the pool. We believe that the penguin exhibit will be the most popular and attractive area in our zoo. We would like to thank everybody who was involved in the process of transfer, arranged all the necessary papers and gave us valuable recommendations. We will try our best that the birds enjoy living at Tbilisi Zoo and inspire our visitors to care for wildlife."

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Penguins of the Day

Blown Out PenguinsKing Penguins

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Baby penguin cools off with a splash at Great Yarmouth SeaLife Centre

Three Month Old Penguin Takes First
Cooling Dip!






Pictures: Jeremy Durkin  
Three Month Old Penguin Takes First Cooling Dip! Pictures: Jeremy Durkin
 
Saturday, July 19, 2014

Baby’s first swim is an anxious time for any parent, but a three-month-old youngster at Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre took to it like… well, a penguin to water!

Three Month Old Penguin Takes First
Cooling Dip!






Pictures: Jeremy Durkin 
Three Month Old Penguin Takes First Cooling Dip! Pictures: Jeremy Durkin

The centre’s first Humboldt penguin chick for three years had been eyeing the colony’s pool with impatience during the recent heatwave. “They don’t swim until their plumage has gained an essential natural waterproofing,” explained curator Christine Pitcher. “But it’s been obvious for several days our newest penguin addition was itching to take the plunge, and at times its parents Mumbles and Woody seemed to be physically blocking its path.” The chick, whose gender will not be known until a DNA test is carried out in August, finally dived in on Monday.

Three Month Old Penguin Takes First
 Cooling Dip!






Pictures: Jeremy Durkin 
Three Month Old Penguin Takes First Cooling Dip! Pictures: Jeremy Durkin
The successful fledging is yet another success for a captive breeding programme which may one day help replenish the steadily shrinking wild Humboldt population

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This Week's Pencognito!





Be sure to visit Jen and all the pengies, by clicking this link.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Friday, July 18, 2014

Penguin of the Day

Gentoo PenguinOne hatched and one on the way?

Behind the scenes at the Maryland Zoo's penguin exhibit

Penguin Coast exhibit Maryland Zoo
Winnie, a penguin at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, is one of three penguins the zoo uses for education programs. Those penguins will be housed in a separate building from the rest of the flock at the new exhibit, and the zoo aims to grow that group to as many as eight penguin ambassadors.
 
Penguin Coast exhibitMaryland Zoo
Winnie, one of the zoo's penguin ambassadors used for educational programming, kicks off a tour of the penguins' new exhibit with zoo President Donald P. Hutchinson, right, and an animal handler.
 
Penguin Coast exhibit Maryland Zoo
The $11 million Penguin Coast exhibit will open to the public Sept. 27 at 10 a.m. after two years of construction.
 
Penguin Coast exhibitMaryland Zoo
Penguins swim in the moat at their current habitat, Rock Island. The new exhibit will bring visitors much closer to the birds.
 
Penguin Coast exhibit Maryland Zoo
The new exhibit puts as much emphasis on animal care as it does the visitor experience. While the penguins' current holding area is cave-like and poorly ventilated, their new building includes plenty of natural light and ventilation.
 
Penguin Coast exhibit Maryland Zoo
The pool at the new exhibit will be filled with 185,000 gallons of water within the next few weeks after the concrete is painted to simulate the type of coastal environment where South African penguins would live in the wild.
 
Penguin Coast exhibit Maryland Zoo
The Maryland Zoo is the primary supplier of South African penguins for other zoos throughout the country. The new exhibit will help the zoo expand its penguin breeding program, and the zoo hopes to grow its own penguin population from 60 to 100 birds.
 
Penguin Coast exhibit Maryland Zoo
Karl Kranz, the zoo's vice president for animal programs and chief operations officer, leads a tour of the new penguin exhibit.
 
Jul 18, 2014
Sarah Meehan, Reporter- Baltimore Business Journal
 
When the South African penguins move into their new exhibit at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, their caretakers will no longer have to squeeze through underground tunnels to reach the birds.
The new $11 million exhibit, set to open Sept. 27, puts as much emphasis on the animals’ living conditions and care as it does the visitors’ experience.

Penguin Coast will bring the penguins out of their current cave-like home, Rock Island — a minimalist exhibit with a dark, musty holding area — where the penguins have lived for more than 50 years. At the same time, the new exhibit will also get guests closer to the penguins than they’ve ever been before.

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