penguins
penguins

The city took additional protection measures in November this year after discovering that penguins living in a colony in Simonstown near Cape Town had fallen victim to unleashed dogs.

penguins
penguins

Prior to the implementation of the penguin protection measures, more than 40 penguins were killed since the start of the year.

Business24

“This was a substantial loss to the penguin breeding population in Simonstown,” the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, Environmental and Spatial Planning, Councillor Johan van der Merwe said.

Van der Merwe said that based on the observed incident patterns, field observations and the necropsy reports from the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB), it was deduced that the most likely predator was one or more dogs.

The additional measures taken including the dispatch of penguin monitors to patrol the area from sunrise to sunset on a full-time basis.

The penguin monitors have been mandated to ensure that penguins are not harassed, interfered with, or impacted on by recreational users.

Residents are required to ensure that their dogs are under control at all times and that they do not approach or harass penguins.

Dog-walkers are to keep their dogs on a leash when arriving to and departing from the penguin habitats.
Dog-walkers who are unable to maintain control of their dogs with voice/whistle commands are advised to keep their dogs on a leash at all times.

Thanks to the cooperation of dog-walkers and members of the public, no further penguin fatalities have occurred along the identified hotspots in the Simonstown area, Van der Merwe said.

“The African penguin is our shared heritage and its survival in an urban environment requires a joint effort,” he said.

The African penguin is currently listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, with a steady decline in numbers over the past decade. The overall population of this species is estimated to be a mere 2.5 percent of its population level some eight decades ago.

Thousands of African penguins live in a colony in Simonstown, the largest penguin habitat in the world.

“We will do our best to strike the appropriate balance between protecting the African penguin, while at the same time not over-regulating human recreation in the area,” Van Der Merwe said. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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