African Penguins face extinction

Sharlien Tjambari

The National Marine Pollution Contingency Plan Operations Team (OP) had a meeting with delegates from the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCOBB) to improve preparedness and response to conserve the African Penguins.

SANCOBB is currently working with the American Zoo Association (AZA) that runs a program called Saving Animals from Extinction (SAFE) that has a Disaster Relief Project for African penguins. The African penguin, which breeds only in Namibia and South Africa has been shifted from vulnerable to endangered status and is now facing extinction if substantial attention is not given to the species.
Dr Katta Ludynia, a Research Manager at SANCOBB, said the population status of African Penguins is currently at 21 500, of this total 16 000 are in South Africa and 5 500 are breeding along the coastline of Namibia.
She further explained the African Penguin is faced with many challenges and threats such as food shortage, lack of suitable breeding habitat, climate change, oil spills which threaten their lives, diseases and in most cases they are introduced to predators. According to her, if the number of the African Penguin continues to drop, the species could be extinct in two decades.
According to Paulina Moses from the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, and also a member of the National Marine Pollution Contingency Plan Operations Team, SANCOBB has possible funding to purchase specialised oil wildlife response equipment at strategic locations near African Penguin colonies or rehabilitation centres as well as provide training to relevant individuals. It is against this background that the OP deems it necessary to meet SANCOBB and deliberate on how Namibia can benefit from project.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login