The African penguin is a species facing the brink of extinction, with only about 10,000 breeding pairs remaining in South Africa and 4,000 breeding pairs in Namibia. The species, once abundant with an estimated 1.5 to 3 million individual African penguins across its range, has declined due to a combination of factors including egg harvesting, guano removal, food shortages, competition with commercial fishing, and threats from shipping and marine noise pollution.
The possible extinction of African penguins will not only result in the loss of a charismatic species, but also have far-reaching environmental and economic impacts through job losses for tourism and conservation. To prevent this from happening, a collaborative campaign called #NOOW has been launched to raise awareness and support for the conservation of African penguins.
What is the #NOOW Campaign?
The #NOOW campaign is a collaborative effort to save the African penguin from extinction, and the public’s support is crucial in this effort. There are several ways people can get involved:
- Visit the Website: The campaign’s website, www.africanpenguinnotonourwatch.org, is a great resource for learning more about the African penguin and the #NOOW campaign.
- Follow on Social Media: By following the campaign on Facebook and Instagram, people can stay up-to-date on the latest news, photos, and videos related to the African penguin and the #NOOW campaign.
- Share Photos and Videos: Sharing photos and videos of African penguins on social media using the hashtags #AfricanPenguin #NOOW can help raise awareness and show support for the species.
- Organize a Penguin Waddle Event: People can organize a #NOOW Penguin Waddle Event at their organization to celebrate World Penguin Day on April 23, 2023.
Who is Involved with #NOOW
The #NOOW campaign is grateful for the support of its funders, including four great organizations that are dedicated to conservation and protecting species:
- Georgia Aquarium: Georgia Aquarium is one of the largest aquariums in the world, and it is dedicated to the education and conservation of aquatic animals.
- Florida Aquarium: Florida Aquarium is a leader in conservation and wildlife rehabilitation, and it is dedicated to the protection of species and their habitats.
- Zoos Victoria: Zoos Victoria is a non-profit organization that operates three zoos in Australia and is dedicated to the protection of wildlife and their habitats.
- Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation: The Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation is dedicated to the conservation and protection of marine life and their habitats. The foundation is committed to educating the public about the importance of ocean conservation and protecting marine species.
Here are five interesting facts about African penguins:
- African penguins are the only species of penguin native to Africa and are also the only penguin species considered endangered.
- African penguins once had a much larger range along the Namibian and South African coast, but today their breeding population has declined significantly.
- African penguins are facing multiple threats, including food shortages, competition with commercial fishing, shipping and marine noise pollution, and a lack of nesting habitat.
- African penguins were once abundant, with an estimated 1.5 to 3 million individual birds across their range, but by the mid-1950s, only about 300,000 pairs remained.
- African penguins are not only important for their ecological value, but also for their economic value as a tourist attraction and their cultural significance.
Here are five conservation tips you can take at home to help save African penguins in the wild:
- Reduce your carbon footprint to help prevent climate change, which can cause shifts in the distribution of prey species and contribute to the decline of African penguins.
- Support sustainable fishing practices and reduce your consumption of seafood to help protect the food source of African penguins.
- Reduce your use of plastic and properly dispose of waste to prevent plastic pollution and oil spills that can harm African penguins and their habitats.
- Support organizations working to protect African penguins and their habitats, such as the #NOOW campaign.
- Educate others about the importance of African penguins and their conservation by sharing information and spreading awareness.