Conservation Facts

Given an annual rate of decline of about 2% per year, there is considerable concern about the long-term viability of African Penguins in the wild. Presently more than ever before, zoos and aquariums are the Noahs’ ark for this species.
The African penguin population is currently less than 5% of the original population and still declining rapidly, with an 80% decline since the 1950s, and a 60% decline in the past decade. As a result, it has been classified as ENDANGERED by the IUCN, and is listed in Appendix II of CITES and the Bonn Convention for the conservation of migratory species.
The Minimum Viable Global Population is estimated to be 50 000 pairs; the current population is less than half of this critical threshold.
Statistics are frightening. On Dassen Island, averaged over the last 100 years, the collapse of the African Penguin population represents the equivalent of losing 1600 birds a week, or more than 2 birds per hour.
The causes of this precipitous decline are numerous, and mainly human-induced.