Nausicaa has helped towards the adoption of twenty five African penguins in South Africa!
As part of the events on the theme of African penguins, run by the Nausicaa staff last December, the National Sea Centre in Boulogne-sur-Mer offered visitors a chance to meet the penguin carers. Some lucky people who won a competition were even taken into the penguin nursery to get to know these strange birds a little better. Visitors were then given the opportunity to sponsor a penguin taken in by an association near Cape Town, South Africa, to help towards its rehabilitation and return to the natural environment.
Twenty five penguins adopted
The donations collected by Nausicaa will help to save twenty five penguins and support the work of SANCCOB (The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds), a South African association that works to save and rehabilitate penguins that have been covered in oil, are injured, sick or are orphans. They also provide SANCCOB with the means to raise awareness of the need for conservation through environmental education and to take part in research projects.
Five of the penguins were sponsored directly by pupils from schools in the Boulogne area, as can be seen from the names given to the penguins. The sixth penguin was sponsored by the funds donated by individual visitors to Nausicaa and has been called… Nausicaa! Adoption certificates and health reports for each penguin will be arriving soon.
The African Penguin
The African penguin is the first species of penguin to have been discovered by Europeans. The bird feeds itself by hunting small fish, which it chases under the sea through forests of seaweed. Its nest is hollowed out of the ground and looks like a rabbit burrow. The penguins form colonies in which mutual assistance is common. Today, they are only 120,000 African penguins living free. The population has declined sharply for several reasons: pollution (slicks of fuel oil and crude oil), a reduction in its habitat as a result of human and industrial pressure, collection of its eggs, guano collection that disturbs the penguin colonies and destroys their usual nesting sites, the introduction of predators, overfishing of small fish, which deprives them of food... the African penguin has become an endangered species.
Visitors to Nausicaa will find the African penguins at #21 of the exhibition. Nausicaa’s penguins have all been born in European aquariums and parks. In 2014, the colony consisted of 21 adult penguins. Fourteen babies have been born; Nausicaa’s first baby penguin is a small female named Tara by Internet users. Most of these babies have joined other penguin colonies in european parks like Budapest, Pistoia or the Mare Nostrum Aquarium in Montpellier. As fast as fish in the water, these birds sometimes seem clumsy on land but are surprisingly agile when it comes to climbing over the rocks.