Happy Monday folks! I know it’s blue Monday today but it’s also penguin awareness day which I think is more fun!
Penguins are of course one of everyone’s favourite animals - who can resist their cute little waddle? The penguin species I’ve chosen to illustrate here is the Humbolt penguin, named after the first Western man to discover them, Alexander Von Humbolt (who also gave his name to the Humbolt squid but that’s another story). They are listed as vulnerable by the IUCN as their population is declining due to climate change (higher sea temperatures), over fishing and habitat destruction by invasive species. They also have been victims of guano (dried seabird poo) harvesting as they actually use it to create their nests and lay their eggs!
There is some hope as they have been under protection from the Chilean government since 1995 and guano reserves now mean they have safe places to nest where humans won’t disturb them.
Humbolts have made the news before as in 2009 two male bonded penguins adopted an egg, hatched it and raised it after its parents abandoned it at the Bremerhaven zoo! Over in Tokyo a brave little penguin escaped from the Sea Life April in 2012, scaled a 4 meter wall and lived in Tokyo Bay for 82 days before being recaptured by the zoo keepers.