Conservationists Respond to Save African Penguins The world's largest animal rescue occurred in 2000 in South Africa. The iron-ore carrier MV Treasure sank in Table Bay. A 3-mile oil slick formed and 75,000 African Penguins, about 50% of the entire population, were threatened during breeding season. Ultimately 20,000 penguins would be coated with toxic oil and 90% would survive as a result of feeding and cleaning each penguin. It would take 2 people at least 1 hour to clean 1 penguin. Another 20,000 penguins were captured and transported away from the threatened area. In addition, 3,000 chicks were rescued, hard-raised, and the survival rate was higher than chicks raised by parents in the wild. Conservationists worldwide, including Dyan deNapoli, responded to the monumental task to rescue the penguins. In the video below, Ms. deNapoli tells the story of 12,500 volunteers saving 40,000 penguins in a 500,000 hours effort. The IUCN lists the African Penguin as Endangered, undergoing a rapid population decline, probably as the result of commercial fisheries and shifts in prey populations. deNapoli says this is due to over-fishing and global warming. She concludes, "Humans have always been the greatest threat to penguins, but we are now their only hope".
Dyan deNapoli: The Great Penguin Rescue A personal story, a collective triumph: Dyan deNapoli tells the story of the world's largest volunteer animal rescue, which saved more than 40,000 penguins after an oil spill off the coast of South Africa. How does a job this big get done? Penguin by penguin by penguin ...
About Dyan deNapoli Call her "the Penguin Lady." Dyan deNapoli educates the world about these fascinating birds. While she was the Senior Penguin Aquarist at the New England Aquarium, Dyan deNapoli hand-raised dozens of penguin chicks, presented daily programs about penguins to aquarium visitors, and traveled the globe to work with penguin researchers in the field. Now, as head of her own educational company, she frequently writes on penguin topics and has served as the onboard penguin expert and guest lecturer on cruise ships visiting the Galapagos Islands and Antarctica. She estimates she has taught about 250,000 people in the US and abroad about penguins.
|International Union for Conservation of Nature|
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