By Joshua Manning • 01 April 2022 • 17:29
African penguins may go extinct within decades
These penguins, which are already on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened animals, are seeing an increasingly rapid decline in numbers.
Dr Katrin Ludynia, Research Director at a South African Marine Biology Insitution in Cape Town who works in collaboration with the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources in Lüderitz stated:
“There were millions of penguins in the region at the beginning of the 20th century. The 2021 data shows that we only have 10 thousand breeding pairs left in South Africa. While 20,000 couples lived on a single island in the region just 20 years ago, only 10,000 couples remain in the whole country today. This decline is so dramatic that the models we have are disappearing in just a few decades. It shows that it can happen.”
“The main reason behind the decline is the overfishing of sardines and anchovies, which are the main diet of this species of penguin, caused by the rapidly growing fishing industry of the area” said Ludynia.
“Climate change, fuel leaks, underwater noise pollution caused by heavy sea traffic and some epidemics are also important factors in the rapid extinction of the African penguin population.” she added.
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Originally from the UK, Joshua is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]
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