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African Penguins (00003509)

Brillenpinguin/African Penguin/Spheniscus demersus        Group of African penguins on rock        <

Description: Brillenpinguin/African Penguin/Spheniscus demersus

Group of African penguins on rock

African Penguins (Spheniscus demersus) and other rare sea birds breed on Dyer Island, six sea miles off the coast of Gansbaai/South Africa. The ruins of a former guano station are still there. Later on, after the guano supplies were depleted, the seal beaters and penguin hunters came to the island. You can still see the sad relics from this time. Until the end of last century penguins were killed for their oil. This gruesome butchery was only stopped in 1919. The stock of African Penguins in South Africa decreased between 1956 and 1978 by more than 50%, in part because of the overfishing in their food grounds. In the Washington Endangered Species Act, African Penguins are mentioned as an endangered species in Appendix II. Now, Dyer Island and its fauna and flora are completely protected. Only a conservationist and sometimes a biologist live on the island. If a group of penguins returns from its hunting grounds far out on the sea, full concentration is necessary. Their way is always full of danger, because they cross the area of the Great White Sharks. Another threat awaits them a short distance off the island: fur seals are lurking in the Kelb belt. In order to manage the last metres to the island safely they suddenly sprint off. They chase along, halfway under water and halfway above the water. In the end phase you can only see seething water. Finally, they find peace and security only on the island – until next time. 

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