Native penguin rescue mission will get R50 000 increase


The Ford Wildlife Basis has contributed R50 000 to SANCCOB Gqeberha’s newest African penguin rescue and rehabilitation efforts. Photograph: SUPPLIED

The Ford Wildlife Basis has prolonged its help for the Southern African Basis for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) in Gqeberha by contributing R50 000 in direction of its newest African penguin rescue and rehabilitation efforts.

Since March 2022, South African Nationwide Parks (SANParks), along with the SANCCOB Seabird Monitor, primarily based on Bird Island, have carried out emergency interventions following extreme climate programs throughout Algoa Bay that resulted in grownup African penguins abandoning their nests.

“Most of the nests had been both destroyed or beneath water, and their chicks would have died if not for the emergency rescue efforts to retrieve them for admission to our SANCCOB facility,” mentioned Carl Havemann, supervisor of SANCCOB, Gqeberha. “There have been chicks admitted in very poor situation that required intensive care to tug via, and they’re strengthening with every passing day.”

The massive admission of greater than 100 African penguin chicks has incurred vital extra bills for SANCCOB to feed, medicate and rehabilitate them to the purpose the place they are often returned to their colony. The chicks are at present being hand-reared by devoted employees, interns and volunteers. The centre has additionally admitted a number of injured and in poor health grownup African penguins for the reason that starting of the yr, whereas 9 different seabird species have additionally undergone rehabilitation on the centre since January for emaciation or accidents.

“The decline of African penguins could be very worrying, because the species is taken into account an indicator species to the well being of the general marine ecosystem,” Havemann defined.

Greater than 100 displaced or deserted African penguin chicks rescued since March 2022 following excessive climate circumstances.Photograph: PAULINE HERMAN

“SANCCOB values its partnership with the Ford Wildlife Basis (FWF) and the continued help. The most recent contribution can be allotted on to the rehabilitation funds of the African penguins.

“The fish consumables, which embody sardines, in addition to the veterinary care and medicine for the seabirds at our centre, is extraordinarily expensive, and the FWF contribution will help in giving the Gqeberha centre a much-needed increase to fund these important prices.

“It prices round R8 400 per day to look after and feed the 105 African penguin chicks at present on the centre.

“Relying on their age at admission, chicks stay in our care till they attain fledgling age, with a median of 60 to 90 days spent at our facility. As a non-profit organisation, we’re fully reliant on members of the general public, in addition to organisations such because the FWF, to help us via funding the African penguin and seabird rehabilitation work we do. We enchantment to different firms and people to help our efforts to guard these endangered species.

“We’re additionally most grateful for the mortgage of a Ford Ranger from FWF which makes it potential for our groups to move rescued birds safely, and assists with our day-to-day operations,” Havemann added.

Algoa Bay is a marine biodiversity hotspot, and its seabird breeding islands fall throughout the declared Addo Marine Protected Space. The St Croix and Bird Islands collectively account for greater than 45% of the entire African penguin inhabitants in South Africa and are of essential significance to the survival of this iconic and endangered species.

Bird Island can also be house to the world’s largest colony of Cape gannets.

“The main target of the Ford Wildlife Basis is to maintain animals of their pure habitat and defend endangered species,” mentioned Lynda du Plessis, supervisor of the Ford Wildlife Basis. “SANCCOB performs an important position in taking care of the African penguin and seabird populations in Nelson Mandela Bay. Nonetheless, SANCCOB faces so many headwinds in funding their regular operations, after which additionally responding to extra components that threaten these essential species.

“We contributed R50 000 to SANCCOB’s Save the African Penguin mission in October final yr, and are making an extra R50 000 contribution this yr to help the organisation’s newest rescue and rehabilitation mission.

“The African penguin inhabitants is already impacted by a scarcity of their conventional fish shares, in addition to oil spillages and noise air pollution from the busy delivery lanes within the bay.

“The contribution to the rescue mission bolsters our help for SANCCOB, Gqeberha, together with the mortgage of a Ford Ranger Double Cab 4×4 which permits the crew to rescue and transport penguins and seabirds throughout the Japanese Cape. We additionally present a loaned Ford Ranger to the SANCCOB centre in Cape City,” Du Plessis added.

SANCCOB is a registered non-profit organisation whose main goal is to reverse the decline of seabird populations via the rescue and rehabilitation of in poor health, injured, deserted and oiled seabirds, and return them to the wild – particularly endangered species just like the African penguin. In a traditional yr, the place no oil spills happen, SANCCOB treats as much as 2 500 seabirds.

The SANCCOB Gqeberha Centre relies within the 366-hectare Cape Recife Nature Reserve on Marine Drive close to Summerstrand. The ability is open to the general public, and supplies instructional excursions and fashionable each day feeds for the penguins as considered one of its most essential fund-raising mechanisms.

Together with a brand new rehabilitation pool, the ability is provided with a seabird hospital with a surgical theatre and intensive care unit.


In line with Carl Havemann, supervisor of SANCCOB Gqeberha, the chicks would have died if not for the emergency rescue efforts to retrieve them.Photograph: SUPPLIED


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