Now forbidden, African penguin guano was once excavated and processed into fertilizer and their skins were manufactured into gloves.
African penguins are popular in ecotourism as they allow humans to approach closely and watch as they interact with their environment.
The primary ecotourism viewing site of African penguins is the colony at False Bay in Simons Town, South Africa with over 2,000 penguins.
Because food availability affects African penguin breeding and survival rates, food shortages in South Africa and Namibia can’t maintain population equilibrium.
Both African penguin parents take part in incubating the egg for 40 days using a “brood patch,” a patch of a bare skin at the base of the belly, to provide direct heat.
Happy World Penguin Day, everyone! World Penguin Day is an annual celebration of penguins that happens on April 25th of each year. This date coincides with the annual northward migration of penguins. Celebrate World Penguin Day with FaunaFocus this week! Free-For-all Don’t forget about this month’s Free-For-All competition. Submit your African penguin-inspired artwork by 12:00pm (Noon) CDT on Friday, April 27th and tune in on Saturday, April 28th at 9:00pm CDT… Read More
African penguins closely resemble the Galapagos penguins of the Pacific Ocean and Humboldt penguins and Magellanic penguins of South America.
African penguins are monogamous as pairs return to the same breeding sites year after year.
Juvenile African penguins initially have dark slate gray-blue feathers that darken with age in about 3 years.
African penguins can swim up to 20 km/h and can travel up to 110 km during each hunting trip, depending on where they forage.
African penguins are also called jackass penguins because they emit loud donkey-like brays, yells, and haws to communicate.
Cape fur seals, sharks, kelp gulls, sacred ibises, mongooses, genets, leopards, and even feral cats and dogs prey on African penguins and their eggs.
The African penguin is endangered and is undergoing a population decline, as a result of commercial fisheries, oil pollution, and shifts in prey populations.
The black and white markings of the African penguin help to camouflage it from both, aquatic and aerial, predators.
African penguins are the most common penguin found in zoos due to their size and temperature requirements.
Male African penguins are distinguishable from females due to their colors and deeper, more robust bills.
African penguins have a longevity of 10-27 years and live longer in captivity than in the wild.
FaunaFocus has had its first SketchAlong! Several viewers tuned in for the Twitch livestream and sketched along with Noelle M. Brooks as she led them through the proportions and anatomy of the African penguin. Using digital materials, ink, and graphite, everyone expressed their own perspective of this peculiar avian. FaunaFocus Calendar
African penguin populations have decreased 50% since 1978, due to nesting and guano collection disturbance, habitat alteration, oil pollution, and competition with fisheries for food.
African penguins can no longer nest in guano due to overharvesting by humans and have begun nesting in open areas and artificial nest-burrows.
African penguins feed on up to 18 species of crustaceans, primarily on small shoaling pelagic fish.
African penguins are largely resident, but some movements occur in response to prey movements.
African penguin courtship involves visual and auditory displays, such as head-swinging, neck extensions, harsh vocal calls, and bowing.
African penguins are marine and usually found within 40 km of the coast, but can remain at sea for up to 4 months.
At 2-4 months, juvenile African penguins leave the colony and later return to breed at 4-6 years.
African penguins breed throughout the year with peak months varying locally.
African penguins gather in breeding areas, called “rookeries,” that range from flat, sandy islands with varying degrees of vegetation to steep, rocky islands with little foliage.
African penguins have white, bare skin over their eyes that becomes bright pinkish-red in very hot conditions.
While foraging for food, African penguins leave their hatchlings in crèches, characteristic groups common to birds that breed in colonies.