17 October is African Penguin Awareness Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness worldwide about the plight of the endangered African penguin – the only penguin endemic to the African continent.
In celebration of these charismatic birds, the 12th annual Penguin Festival (or as it is affectionately known: The Simon’s Town Penguin Festival) is happening on 17 October 2015 at Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town, while the SANCCOB benefit auction is taking place on 26 October at the Commodore Hotel, V&A Waterfront. Both events are are co-hosted by SANCCOB & SANParks with the aim of raising much-needed funds and awareness for African penguin conservation.
The species has consistently declined from an estimated 1 million breeding pairs in the 1930’s to a point where only 19 430 African penguin breeding pairs remain in the wild in South Africa today (less than 2% of the population). Conservation authorities and NGO’s have initiated several projects to raise conservation awareness of the plight of the African penguin, to reduce its rate of decline,improve breeding as well as to protect its natural habitat.
Two local projects are the Chick Bolstering and Burgher’s Walk Projects.
The Chick Bolstering Project involves identifying penguin eggs and chicks at risk, taking the affected birds (and eggs) to SANCCOB for rearing and then releasing the juveniles and adults, once they are strong enough, back into the wild. Annually, SANCCOB admits approximately 1 500 African penguins to its centres of which almost 1 000 are chicks.
Another Project is the Burgher’s Walk Project. This project was initiated in 2011 as a partnership between SANParks, City of Cape Town and SANCCOB. The Burgher’s Walk area, which is a critical breeding area for the African penguins in Simon’s Town, was severely degraded and the penguins faced daily threats from dog attacks, irresponsible tourism activities, poor breeding conditions and other human-related risks.
SANCCOB was approached and accepted the challenge to source funding to employee four dedicated Penguin Monitors, whose responsibility it is to monitor the safety and wellbeing of the penguins in Simon’s Town urban environment, assist with rehabilitation of the natural environment and to manage visitor activities around penguins breeding areas.
The above projects have yielded much success and as a result, penguin numbers at Boulders Beach, Burgher’s Walk and the surrounding areas have started to recover and are considered stable over the last two years. To ensure that SANCCOB, SANParks and the City of Cape Town continue the good work, we need to continue raising both awareness and funds for the projects and here we call on your support.
It is the time of year to ask for help, donations and sponsorship for the African Penguin Awareness Day on 17 October 2015 from 10h00 – 14h00. The day will start with a penguin release on Seaforth Beach.
Visitors can join the shows, talks, good food, environmental displays and games for adults and children at Boulders parking area.
Please assist us with sponsorship or donations of any of the items listed below:
|Vouchers for accommodation, restaurants & activities||Technology items and gadgets (new): cameras, tablets, laptops, televisions||Paintings and other art work|
|Prized wine & cognac||Camping & adventure items: tents, bicycle equipment, braai equipment||Kitchen items: coffee machine, griller, cookware|
|Curio items, including key rings, lanyards, any type of curio||Colouring in books||Kids toys|
|Gift sets||Nature books, calendars||Adult novelty items: tools, knife sets, DIY items|
|Vouchers for services (manicures, pedicures, massages, healing sessions)||Art equipment & stationery||Kids clothing items (especially unisex items, t-shirts, socks, beanies, caps etc)|
For more information contact: Francois Louw
Marketing & Development Coordinator: SANCCOB
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Tel: 021 5576155
Cape Point Route loves festivals, education, conservation AND penguins!
Cape Point Route also offers day tours, packages, accommodation, activities and car hire in Cape Town’s south peninsula in addition to teambuilding events in Cape Town. Call 021 789 0093 or visit www.capepointroute.co.za