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Oil Spills Threaten Endangered South African Penguins

Oil Spills Threaten Endangered South African Penguins

African Penguins are Endangered

African penguins, recognised by their chest black horseshoe markings and their distinct bray-like calls. The birds are native to South Africa and Namibia but can also be found in Mozambique and the last three decades riddled with symptoms of climate change and human activity such as overfishing and habitat destruction, have seen their numbers fall by 60% Scientists are also concerned about bunkering and consequential oil spills.

Ronelle Friend, an environmental consultant, explains the ecological risks in the region, “We want to protect our biodiversity and make Algoa Bay an ecotourism destination, and we can’t do it with the risk of oil spills, penguins endangered in oil. We are losing our status as the largest breeding colony of African penguins in the world, and that worries us”.

Oil Spills are a Threat to the Coastline’s Biodiversity

The deep waters of Algoa Bay off the coast of South Africa- which is home to almost half of the world’s endangered population of African penguins, are ideal for offshore bunkering operations in South Africa and have served as a charge-free port for refuelling and cargo-ship loading stop since three maritime companies acquired licences in 2016 – which is a huge threat to the ecosystem.

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Source: AfricaNews

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