Named after a donkey because of the loud, braying noise it makes, the Jackass penguin is no fool. It has so far survived many oil spills, poachers and predatory fishermen who have depleted its food stocks.
Experts are alarmed at the decline in the numbers of Penguins in the wild – in 1956 there were 141 000 pairs but this dwindled to 36 000 by the end of 2006. It is predicted that the conservation status of the African Penguin will soon be elevated to “endangered”. The dramatic decline in numbers is being attributed to the lack of fish, and conservationists are developing a new strategy to prevent their extinction.