World Penguin Day: Why These Species Are Endangered


emperor penguing

Each year, April 25 marks the World Penguin Day, but too few penguins are still around to celebrate the occasion because of the increasing threat of possible extinction.

Besides being considered cute and fluffy animals, penguins are not much in the eye of the public. People do not seem to appreciate them enough, so here is some penguin trivia to see just how much they’re missing.

Check to see if you knew these facts about the animals we may lose sooner rather than later:

Emperor Penguins

According to CNN, the emperor penguins are the largest among the total of 16 species of penguins – they can grow up to 4 feet tall and weigh up to 100 pounds. Their home is usually the coast of Antarctica, but their cousins can also be found in New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, or Australia.

They may look awkward and adorable on land as they waddle away, but emperor penguins are fierce and graceful in their preferred environment: underwater. The massive, flightless birds can dive more than 1,800 feet, and stay underwater for up to 20 minutes.

Adelie Penguins

Among the smallest species of their kind, Adelies are only half the size of emperor penguins, but they represent the species with the largest population. The Antarctic area is filled with large colonies, and researchers have observed them building nests of rocks every October.

African Penguins

Also called Jackass penguins, the African penguins, live in Boulders Beach near Cape Town in South Africa. This is one of the most popular destinations for penguin-spotting.

Instead of traveling hundreds of miles – like their Antarctica cousins – African penguins are well-known homebodies; they rarely change their place for breeding, nesting, and feeding. But the decreasing food supply and loss of nesting grounds has put them on the endangered species list.

Little Penguins

The blue penguins are the smallest of their kind and usually reside in New Zealand and Australia. They weigh merely a kilo or two, and never grow taller than a foot. Their lifespans are really long, living up to 25 years in captivity.

Man-made changes represent a serious threat to penguin populations around the globe, causing a steady decline. Overfishing, for example, is one of the activities that affect their environment the most.

But climate change has made penguins – and other animals in polar regions – helpless victims, as their lose their homes and food sources at a fast pace.
Image Source: National Geographic