African penguins numbers in a dive

21 May 2009

The number of African penguins has dropped almost 80% in the last 50 years.

In 1956 there were an estimated 121,000 breeding pairs of African penguins. A study done last year found that this number has since dropped to just 26,000 pairs.

Scientists point to a number of different causes that have contributed to this drastic drop. Among them, being the effect that commercial fishing has had upon their food stocks to global warming effecting their breeding pattern.

The penguins are also facing a number of other challenges. There is the constant threat of oil spills, as well as increased predation by fur seals. Combined these risks have greatly decreased the number of penguins.

Efforts now are being made to understand the underlying cause of these changes and work towards a solution that will hopefully save the African penguin.

Source: AFP

Jonathan Salibra
[email protected]

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