Since the beginning of March, 24 endangered African penguin eggs have hatched at SANCCOB (the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds), the non-profit seabird centre in Cape Town. Members of the public can now adopt an egg for R300/$19 and help contribute to the conservation of the African penguin species.
During what the organisation calls egg-season, African penguin eggs are rescued from nearby colonies by Penguin Rangers from the South African National Parks (SANParks) and CapeNature.
SANCCOB has admitted 40 eggs since the start of January with more rescued eggs expected to arrive right through until July this year. These eggs have either been abandoned by their parents or the adult penguins were found nesting in areas outside of the protected colony, putting both the adults and their young at risk.
In such cases, the adult penguins are relocated to the safety of the colony and the eggs are brought to SANCCOB for hand-rearing. For the next three months, these penguin chicks will receive extra special treatment by SANCCOB until, as juvenile penguins, they are deemed fit and healthy enough for release back into the wild.
The African penguin, one of South Africa’s most iconic species, was classified as endangered in 2010. With an estimated 25,000 breeding pairs left in the wild, the population is at approximately 2.5% of the estimated figure of one million breeding pairs, recorded in the early 20th century.
As a non-profit organisation, SANCCOB asks the public to help with this crucial conservation intervention by adopting a penguin egg, or by visiting www.sanccob.co.za. Each adoption pack includes a certificate of adoption in the adoptees name and a thank you gift from the penguins at SANCCOB.
You can also support the organisation by making SANCCOB a beneficiary on your MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet card.