While many people think of penguins as cold climate inhabitants, such as the ones in Antarctica, these delightful creatures can also be found off the southern coast of Africa in rather temperate climates. International African Penguin Awareness Day is here to bring attention to these rare flightless birds!
History of International African Penguin Awareness Day
As climate change and other factors continue to threaten the livelihood of many animals throughout the globe, the African Penguin is no exception. In fact, the African Penguin was placed on the US Endangered Species list in 2010 as the populations continue to decline with the potential of completely vanishing in the near future if nothing is done to stop it.
International African Penguin Awareness Day was founded in 2010, the same year the bird was put on the endangered list in the US. The purpose of the day is to let more people know about the dangers that African Penguins face, including climate change, oil spills, overfishing, and habitat destruction.
How to Celebrate International African Penguin Awareness Day
Consider some of these ways to participate in and celebrating these adorable creatures in honor of International African Penguin Awareness Day:
Raise Awareness for African Penguins
Of course, the purpose of the day is to let other people know about the uniqueness of this unique aquatic flightless bird. Those who are really into the day can spend time ahead of time campaigning for the day to encourage more people to participate. Or host an event that allows people to get more involved by learning more as well as by making financial donations.
Learn More About African Penguins
Share some of these fun facts about African Penguins in honor of International African Penguin Awareness Day:
They’re good partners and parents. In fact, African Penguins are monogamous, returning to the same sight each year with their eggs. Also, they share their parenting duties as both are equally responsible for incubating the eggs.
African Penguins have special feathers that are not only waterproof, but they also act as insulation if the weather happens to turn cold.
A gland above their eyes keeps them cool. That’s right! African penguins have a special pink gland that sits above their eyes and when the weather gets hot, their body sends more blood to the gland to cool them down.
The black and white suit acts as camouflage. When African Penguins are swimming in the water, their black coat on the back helps to hide them from predators who are swimming above them, while the white on the bottom means they will blend in with the light sky when potential predators are swimming below.
Visit Some Penguins
This is a great day to head on over to the local zoo and see what types of penguins they have on display. Or, for those who can’t get out to the zoo, there may be plenty of opportunities to “visit” penguins online where live streaming cameras allow fans to watch their activities throughout the day.