Protect The Penguins!
Galapagos Penguins: An Endagered Species
Galapagos Penguins are found on the Galapagos Islands and off the coast of Ecuador near the equator. Adults nest in groups, and breed mainly in caves or holes near volcanic rock to avoid heat stress in a previously harsh environment and to avoid predation.
Species: Spheniscus Mendiculus
- Population: 2,000
- They have a black head, with a thin white line from the head to the throat.
- Undercarriage is white
- Females are generally smaller than males
- Life Span is 15-20 years
- Galapagos penguins breed twice a year and their breeding period can last up to 13 days.
- They keep the same partner for life.
Galapagos Penguins are an endangered species because they have been exposed to many major threats that have begun to cease their existence. Because they live close to the equator, they experience the effects of El Nino, the temporary change in the climate of the pacific ocean close to the equator. Most commonly, the water in the pacific ocean becomes warmer, causing colder water to get sucked under the oceans surface. As the water warms, the winds weaken, which is the hallmark of El Nino. A strong El Nino can last a year or more before returning back to normal. This has caused severe habitat destruction in the last 30 years. They do not adapt to climate changes very well either. Also, outside of the water, the penguins have become the prey of crabs, snakes, owls, and hawks. In water, they are hunted by sharks, fur seals, and sea lions.
What is Being Done to Protect the Galapagos Penguins?
The entire populations of Galapagos Penguins now reside in the Galapagos National Park and Marine Resort in order to preserve the species as a whole. Legally, they are protected from hunting and egg collecting. The Galapagos Conservation Trust launched the Sylvia Harcourt-Carasco Bird Life fund. This fund provides a push for the conservation of Galapagos Penguins , that may lead to other conservation actions and eventually, a restored and healthy population. I believe that if these actions are taken seriously, then the population will be restored and the penguins can live a happy life.