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From hatching abandoned eggs, rehabilitating emaciated penguins and securing food sources by working with fisheries, SANCCOB is doing everything to save the penguins.


Cape Town, South Africa (05 August 2022)Earlier this year, SANCCOB (Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds) started hatching rescued penguin eggs; the fuzzy chicks are considered the hope for the species’ future. But the team are not only working to save their rescues; they work tirelessly with all the colonies along our coastlines to save them!

Penguin numbers across South African coastlines are in decline. This is worrying, which makes saving every penguin vital.

Raising awareness for the work being done at SANCCOB, marine conservationist and WaddleOn Socks founder Martine Viljoen has been sharing snippets of information, highlighting the work being done by the organisation.

Declining numbers of fish along the West Coast is a worrying factor for the team, but they have worked with local fisheries to ensure that the remaining 10,300 breeding pairs are well-fed and cared for.

“African penguins’ main prey consists of sardine and anchovy; these are oily fish, providing a rich source of nutrients, which is largely consumed by humans and top marine predators. However, penguins must compete with industrial fishing companies for this marine resource. At SANCCOB, we are witnessing this threat first-hand where penguins are rescued from colonies in a weak and emaciated state, meaning that they are dangerously thin as a result of starvation.

Every year #SANCCOB along with incredible rangers working on the colonies rescue abandoned penguin chicks owing to their parents no longer being capable of feeding themselves or further caring for these chicks out in the wild – shouldn’t this reality of our endangered African penguins drive further change?”

It is very concerning when an emaciated penguin is brought in, and the prognosis is always a guarded one. Many of these sickly birds are so anaemic they require a blood transfusion. If they can be saved, their rehabilitation is a long one!

SANCCOB has established a good relationship with various conservation partners over the years, and together they are working hard to secure sufficient fish stocks for African penguins and other seabirds for the coming years and beyond.

Rangers that watch over local colonies often go out to weigh some of the penguins to make sure the overall health and access to food is good.

We can all support the efforts and in the most simple ways too! If you can’t donate financially, the organisation also welcomes the donation of baby socks (read about that adorable donation here), clean towels, washing of laundry, training as volunteers for when big emergencies take place, and so much more! Check out their website for details here.

Our penguins are international stars, so let’s help SANCCOB save them!


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A post shared by Martine Viljoen (@martineviljoen)

Sources: Martine Viljoen – Linked Above
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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