Residing at the coastlines of Southern Africa are a temperate penguin species dubbed the African penguin, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature recognizes them as an endangered species on the organization’s Red List.
There are fewer than 50,000 mature African penguins in the wild today, and according to the conservationists who study the animals, their populations only continue to decline with no end in sight.
Many factors are to blame for the African penguin’s conservation status, including habitat encroachment by humans and a depletion of the fish stocks that the penguins rely on as a food source.
At the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds, animal experts make it their life’s work to ensure that these endangered sea birds have their best chance at survival. They monitor wild penguins to ensure good health, and any that don’t meet the criteria are transported to a rehabilitation facility where they are nursed back to health before being re-released.