International African Penguin Awareness Day is celebrated annually. In 2022, the holiday fell on October 15th. The first thing that comes to mind when the word “penguin” is a cold climate, but this has nothing to do with African penguins. There are species of penguins that live in warm climates.
International African Penguin Awareness Day is an opportunity for people to help these beautiful birds live as part of an ecosystem. Over the past century, the population of African penguins has been rapidly declining. According to current estimates, approximately 60-000 penguins of this species remain in the wild. According to scientists, African penguins may completely disappear as a species in 70-000 years.
The lack of food sources is one of the main threats penguins face today. African penguins prefer to eat small fish, anchovies and sardines. Such fish are now in short supply due to fishermen, as well as changes in the marine ecosystem caused by climate change. Adult penguins are forced to swim farther from the shore and their cubs to find food, which is unsafe for both adult penguins and their offspring.
There are other causes of extinction: habitat loss, predators, pollution, disease, and human interference.
- at the beginning of the 19th century there were approximately 4 million African penguins;
- by 1910, the population had dropped to 1,5 million, and by the end of the twentieth century, even 10%;
- in 2010, their number was about 55 birds.
How to celebrate
Start learning more about environmental issues. Try to dispose of garbage, reduce the use of plastic to clean up to a minimum. When buying seafood, make sure it comes from sustainable sources and is on the SASSI list. Find out and tell your friends and acquaintances about the horrifying situation that African penguins find themselves in. You may be able to contribute to their salvation.
When is International African Penguin Awareness Day celebrated in 2022?
International African Penguin Awareness Day is observed on the second Saturday of October each year.