The African penguin is classified as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
On Dyer Island, the African Penguins would naturally burrow into the soft guano to nest. During the mid 1800’s and early 1900’s however, the guano was removed from the island and sold as fertilizer. The penguins now struggle to burrow into the hard, rocky substrate on Dyer, and have been forced to nest on the surface, leaving their eggs and chicks exposed to predation by Kelp Gulls. Cape Nature, in partnership with Dyer Island Cruises and the Dyer Island Conservation Trust, has embarked on a program to introduce artificial nests on Dyer Island, providing extra shelter for breeding penguins.
There were about 4000 pairs of penguins breeding on Dyer Island in 1959. This number increased to 23 000 pairs in 1979 (55% of the Western Cape breeding population and the largest African Penguin Colony of all). Since then it has been declining, and in 2009 there were only an estimated 1200 breeding pairs.
You can help make new nests for the Dyer Island penguins Give a chick a home for the holidays.
Dyer Island trust has been established for the conservation, rehabilitation or protection of the natural environment, including flora, fauna or the biosphere, the care of wild animals; the promotion of, and the conducting of educational and training programs relating to environmental awareness, greening and clean-up projects, and conservation research.
Help build a nesting place for this penguins to improve the breeding success of the penguins and to reverse their population decline on this island.
Cost: R400.00 each (about $58 US), which goes towards nest box construction and placement, donation to Dyer Island Conservation Trust, monitoring and penguin research.
Receive: Certificate of recognition via email, penguin information, name on website, access to website updates
Excerpts courtesy of http://bit.ly/cPlVdz
Image courtesy of http://bit.ly/aPcJNt