Saving Animals From Extinction(SAFE) combines the power of engaging 183 million annual AZA-accredited aquarium and zoo visitors with the expertise of these facilities and their conservation partners to save species, including the African Penguin. SAFE also provides a unique platform for AZA-accredited aquariums and zoos to increase the impact of their field conservation efforts and conservation contributions.
Who We Are
African Penguins are listed as endangered due to rapid population decline resulting from overfishing, habitat degradation, and oil spills. Between 2010 and 2014, more than 30 accredited Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) took part in or supporting field conservation projects benefiting African penguins.
AZA facilities have joined forces to develop various projects, from improving disaster response protocols for oil spills to constructing artificial nests in order to address population declines caused by overfishing, habitat degradation, and oil spills.
Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) provides high-quality rehabilitation and veterinary services to African penguins and other seabirds in need.
SANCCOB also has a strong focus on raising awareness about endangered seabirds through conservation education programs and research projects.
Why African Penguins?
Penguins are very visible indicators for the marine environment. Since they are colonial nesters, scientists can easily tell through physical appearance, chick condition and declines in a colony that penguins are not thriving. They share dwindling prey species with other marine animals so if penguin colonies are declining it can be assumed other fish-eating marine species are also in trouble.
Zoo Conservation Science Leader
I feel that if we can help create enough data to support cultural changes, we may be able to help the African Penguins. I'm hoping that while I am still living and breathing that we can stop the decline. One can dream.
Curator National Zoo
We want this species to survive in the wild. We want our children's children to see African penguins in the wild.
When people care about something they are more likely to do what they can to save it. It could be making a monetary contribution or changing their behavior, which in turn could reduce the impact on humans on the natural environment.