Penguin Conservation
HUMAN THREATS

Toxic pesticides have been detected in some Antaractic species of penguin which indicates they may have been carried great distances by ocean currents. Penguins have ingested harmful waste materials such as plastic or become lethally entangled.

Oil spills greatly affect penguins. The oil fouls their feathers, which reduces waterproofing and insulation, the penguins may then be susceptible to hypothermia. Also, the ingestion of oil as they attempt to preen their feathers could poison them. Noise from passing aircraft or boats may be enough to panic a colony in to stampeding. In this situation large numbers of chicks may die and eggs will be crushed.


NATURAL THREATS

El Nino is a natural phenomenon which causes changes in wind and ocean current patterns. Ocean surface temperatures rise which reduces the upwelling of cooler nutrient-rich waters. The decrease in nutrients reduces the numbers of plankton, krill and small fish upon which the penguins feed. Two species have been greatly affected by this phenomenon, the Humbolt's and Galapagos. Over half the Humboldt population was wiped out by the 1982 El Nino.

CONSERVATION

All 17 species are now protected from egg collecting and hunting. The Antarctic Treaty signed by 12 nations has enabled protection of Antarctica and its living resources.

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) regulates the trade in certain wildlife species including penguins.


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Hunstanton SEA LIFE Sanctuary / hunstanton@sealsanctuary.co.uk