African penguins can no longer nest in guano due to over harvesting by humans and have begun nesting in open areas and artificial nest-burrows.
In the past, African penguin nests were usually built in burrows dug in guano or sand. Guano collection has historically been a major cause of disturbance at many penguin colonies and today, the removal of guano has deprived penguins of nest-burrowing sites. This has caused the birds to start nesting on open ground where they are more vulnerable to heat stress resulting in the abandonment of nests, flooding of nests by rain, and increased predation.
African penguins will usually dig shallow burrows under rocks, in sand, or under sparse vegetation. At some sites, artificial nest-burrows made from pipes and boxes sunken into the ground, and shelters shaped from dry vegetation have been regularly used by the species.
Sources: (BirdLife International, 2016; Frost, Siegfried, & Burger, 1976; Frost, Siegfried, & Cooper, 1976; Hockey, Dean, & Ryan, 2005; Kemper, 2015; Kemper, et al., 2007; Pearce, 2011; Pichegru, 2013; Shannon & Crawford, 1999; Shelton, Crawford, Cooper, & Brooke, 1984; Sherley, Barham, Barham, Leshoro, & Underhill, 2012)
Image: Isabella Jusková