Friday, May 13, 2016

Endangered penguin egg poacher nabbed

Endangered penguin egg poacher nabbed

2016-05-12 07:30 - Selene Brophy

Cape Town - A local has breached the safety of Boulders Penguin Sanctuary and stolen endangered African penguin eggs - with SANParks saying this is not an isolated incident.

Table Mountain National Park confirmed the arrest of a Glencairn resident by law enforcement officials who found him to be in possession of illegally obtained penguin eggs.

It said it was unclear which part of the Boulders Colony the eggs had come from or why they had been taken. The eggs were handed over to SANParks and sent for verification to the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) who confirmed that the eggs were indeed penguin eggs.  African Penguins are classified as Endangered by the IUCN Red List and it is listed under appendix II of CITES (Convention on the Trade of Endangered Species).

In South Africa it is further listed as a protected species under the NEM: Biodiversity Act (10 of 2004). Once considered to be one of South Africa’s most iconic species, the African penguin was classified as endangered in 2010. There is believed to only be an estimated 25 000 breeding pairs left in the wild - a paltry 2.5% of the estimated figure of one million breeding pairs as recorded in the early 20th century.

It is for this reason that TMNP says it views these illegal actions as serious and will continue to work together with other conservation bodies to ensure the survival of the species.

SANParks has law enforcement staff and security on patrol within the park at Boulders Penguin Colony in Simonstown 24/7 and will continue with these patrols. SANParks and other agencies will continue to investigate to determine what could have been his motivation for removing the eggs.

Given the expanse of the colony at Boulders and the fact that the Penguins breed inside and outside of the national park, management would like to encourage residents and visitors to report any possible transgressions as soon as possible to the authorities.



Glencairn resident on penguin egg theft charge

12 May 2016

POLICE have confirmed the court appearance of a Glencairn resident who had allegedly been caught with penguin eggs in his possession.

Constable Noloyiso Rwexana said the 30-year-old was arrested on Wednesday and appeared in the Simon’s Town Magistrate’s Court on charges of illegally possessing penguin eggs.

Table Mountain National Parks spokesperson Merle Collins welcomed the arrest. “It is not clear at this stage from which part of the Boulders colony (near Simon’s Town) the eggs were taken.”

Boulders Beach is in the Table Mountain National Park that falls under SANParks.

Francoise Louw, of the South African National Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds, said: “The African Penguin is an endangered and protected species. The population in South Africa is 25 000 breeding pairs, which is critical to the survival of the species. We don’t condone actions that jeopardise the survival of eggs or penguins.”

Dangers to eggs include being laid outside a colony, eaten by pets or predators and trampled on, he added.

The foundation’s Shelley Chapman said eggs are the size of one’s palm, white to greyish in colour and oval but pointed at one end.


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