Today is World Penguin Day!
Penguins are some of the most recognisable characters amongst the cast of species that call the oceans their home. Whether they love them (almost everyone!) or hate them, people I meet rarely fail to register an emotional response when I tell them I work on penguins. And that’s got to be a good thing this World Penguin Day because, globally, penguins are not fairing well. Of the 18 species of penguin, 11 are undergoing population declines and 10 are considered as threatened on the IUCN Red List. Penguins are threatened by climate change, pressure from fisheries interactions and pollution, amongst other things. But there are successful conservation stories for penguins species too and teams of dedicated people are working to ensure these charismatic species stick around to see many a more World Penguin Day in future.
Have a look at this blog post to find out more about our work to conserve African penguins: http://multimedia.earthwatch.org/a-comeback-story-in-the-making
or this recently accepted review for more information on all 18 species: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00248/abstract.
A Penguin-eye view: foraging for fish
Happy World Penguin Day!
Words and Images by ExeterMarine researcher Richard Sherley.