Penguin Watch

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This website is designed to contain up-to-date news and information about the issues facing penguins in their natural habitat, specifically the African Penguin. Penguins feed at or near the top of food chains in many ecosystems and so are sensitive to alterations in the marine habitat. They are also highly visible, enigmatic birds which, as a family, have a circum-global distribution within the southern hemisphere. However, many of the world's 18 penguin species are facing threats to their existence. In 2010, 11 species were considered of conservation concern and five of these, including the African Penguin, were listed as Endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The threats facing penguins are not unique, but generally represent more widespread impacts by man on the marine environment or its islands. Measures to protect threatened penguins, such as the African Penguin, if implemented through holistic, ecosystem-based measures, will also be advantageous to the health of the wider marine environment and the other species that inhabit it. In other words, penguins are ambassadors of marine biodiversity: they should be seen as flagship species for conservation, with their fate representing that of many of the world's marine ecosystems and organisms.

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University of Cape Town

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