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About Us

Welcome to Penguin Watch

Welcome to Penguin Watch. This website is designed to contain up-to-date news and information about the issues facing penguins in their natural habitat, specifically the African Penguin. Penguins feed at or near the top of food chains in many ecosystems and so are sensitive to alterations in the marine habitat. They are also highly visible, enigmatic birds which, as a family, have a circum-global distribution within the southern hemisphere. However, many of the world's 18 penguin species are facing threats to their existence. In 2010, 11 species were considered of conservation concern and five of these, including the African Penguin, were listed as Endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The threats facing penguins are not unique, but generally represent more widespread impacts by man on the marine environment or its islands. Measures to protect threatened penguins, such as the African Penguin, if implemented through holistic, ecosystem-based measures, will also be advantageous to the health of the wider marine environment and the other species that inhabit it. In other words, penguins are ambassadors of marine biodiversity: they should be seen as flagship species for conservation, with their fate representing that of many of the world's marine ecosystems and organisms.

Please use the menus to navigate the site and for more information or enquiries, contact the editor -- Richard Sherley (

Penguin Watch is designed to disseminate up to date information about the issues facing penguins in the wild, especially the African penguin. It is a resource aimed firstly at the global African Penguin community from individuals working to conserve the species within its native range of South Africa and Namibia to everyone worldwide who is concerned about the welfare of penguins in the wild.

The African Penguin was classified as Endangered in 2010 and may be in an extinction vortex. The threats to the species are numerous and not all of the mechanisms driving the decline are well understood. The site provides a portal for updates on the most recent research findings, on management issues or decisions, as well as a place to knowledge and stimulate fruitful discussion as we strive to alleviate the pressure on this enigmatic species.

The idea for Penguin Watch was conceived during the 2010 International Penguin Conference in Boston as a way for the penguin community in southern Africa to communicate the penguin news to the large community of individuals who take an interest in penguins, and especially the organisations involved in captive management of the species in North America, Europe and the rest of the world. Penguin Watch is hosted by the Animal Demography Unit at the University of Cape Town and is open to contributions from anyone with an interest or stake in the conservation, management or research of the penguins in their natural environment, and particularly the African Penguin.

If you would like to contribute a news article to the site or suggest a topic for an article, please see the guidelines to authors or contact Richard Sherley. If you would like to start a discussion about an issue that is particularly pertinent to you or the organisation you represent, please contact Richard Sherley for information on how to access AP-INFORM, Penguin Watch’s sister site.