Thursday, May 21, 2009

Penguins disappearing in Africa

Currently, there are 12 penguin species considered "at risk" or endangered, and the ones that are in the biggest trouble live in Africa. Last year there were only about 26,000 pairs of African Penguins left in southern Africa, which is tremendous decline compared to 50 years ago when there were 121,000 breeding pairs. The reasons for such sharp decline are mostly overfishing and global warming.

The biggest factor responsible for such serious decline is definitely inadequate food supply due to overfishing. People are catching more and more sardines and anchovies, their major source of food, which makes it hard for penguins to find enough food to survive. Not only this, global warming is changing ocean currents so fish are moving with it, and penguins are forced to form new colonies closer to food supplies.Climate change is not only affecting ocean currents it is also making difficult for penguins to find appropriate, cool, places to breed within the traditional colonies.

Among other problems are pollutants that are also weakening penguins by affecting their ability to find fish. Every once in a while there is also new oil spill so penguins really have tough time surviving in Africa.

These are all causes responsible for major penguin population decline, and what we really need is urgent action to prevent it happening even further. Penguins are so cute and lovable animals, and we must give them a decent chance for survival. African penguins are in much worse situation than their cousins in Antarctica because unlike their cousins they are not isolated from humans. If we don't do something very quick there soon won't be any penguin left in Africa.

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