Artificial Nest Development Project
An appropriate artificial nest design is developed out of materials that provide optimal conditions for the different colony habitats and settings. An adequate number of new and replacement artificial nests are manufactured and installed in each colony. Due to the COVID-19 shutdowns, artificial nest production is delayed. However, some nests are ready for installation; 1300 nests in colonies, 350 nests ready for installation, and another 400 - 500 nests are funded.
An African penguin nesting monitoring program is conducted to determine nest site selection, attendance, and fidelity, as well as reproductive success rates. Ongoing and continuing on Dyer Island and Simon’s Town IMT site. A 16-channel surveillance system has been ordered for Dyer Island and live-streaming data is being investigated. Presently 150 artificial nests and 7 traditional guano nests are being monitored for environmental conditions. Biological monitoring at Simon’s Town IMT revealed that for the first 65 artificial nests deployed, 97 eggs were laid. Additional nest use monitoring is coming in slowly due to COVID-19 shutdowns, but the nests still show 85% usage rates more than 2 years into use.