Penguins are fun and interesting animals that are unique in many different ways. There are currently over 18 different known species of penguin and some of them have been around the planet for well over 65 million years. They’re a beloved animal thanks to many popular depictions in movies and children’s stories, but they’re also fascinating birds that have piqued the interest of many people all over the world.

However, what most people don’t realize is that penguin numbers around the world are dwindling. Every year, the penguin population shrinks at an alarming rate and most of the world doesn’t realize this because they don’t get to see “real” penguins in their natural habitat. That’s why Penguin Awareness Day is such a good opportunity to learn more about penguins and understand the situation they’re in. It could lead to an appreciation for penguins and could even convince you to donate to help ensure that they can continue living on our planet for another 65 million years!

Penguin Awareness Day helps to bring some reality to people’s depictions of penguins that typically come from animated films and cartoons. Penguins are often seen as laid-back animals that love to swim around, take care of their children and socialize. This is a pretty accurate representation of what penguins do on a daily basis, but it doesn’t show the environment that the penguins live in and how it’s constantly changing around them.

Penguin Awareness Day is a time to celebrate and commemorate penguins, but unless we do something as a collective to help penguins thrive in the wild, there may be none left in the near future. That’s why the main focus of Penguin Awareness Day is to educate people on their situation, learn how climate change has affected them and also learn about the different species and where they live.

History of Penguin Awareness Day

Penguins are a barometer of the effects of human activity on the poles, according to scientists from institutions around the world. Raising awareness about them, therefore, is seen by many as a way to communicate with people about the impending dangers of climate change. If people can see how these birds are being affected, perhaps they will make changes to their lives. 

Laboratories and scientific institutions worldwide became increasingly interested in Penguin Awareness Day after 2010. Their main aim is to highlight their penguin-related research and get the public interested in conservation. 

For instance, Polito Lab released a video talking about what it was doing to study the lives of these lovable birds in Antarctica in 2017. LSU College of the Coast and Environment also jumped on the bandwagon, posting video content on Facebook. It featured short clips of penguins getting up to their usual antics with important messages posted over the top about how they live. According to the informational piece, penguins spend the majority of their lives either on the ice or in the water. Their colonies vary in size considerably, from just a few dozen to millions. Their diet is mainly krill and fish, and they create so-called “penguin highways” through the ice to make it easier to collect food.  

Penguins, however, picky eaters. When you live in Antarctica, you have to consume whatever calories you can find, even if it is shrimp caught in the ice from years. Penguins need to consume specific types of food to keep their feathers and eggshells healthy. Scientists now say that they can take samples from these components and determine the quality of their diet. Now that’s quite an achievement!

In 2020, Cincinnati Zoo jumped on the Penguin Awareness Day bandwagon following the Twitter frenzy on the subject. The public amenity released a press release about the new habitat it had created for its blue penguins. 

Penguin Awareness Day is, for that reason, an opportunity for everyone involved in the life of penguins to chip in and talk about this vital creature. Remember, the penguin is the largest animal to venture into the heart of Antarctica to breed. It is a tough little cookie and worth celebrating. 

How to celebrate Penguin Awareness Day

Celebrating Penguin Awareness Day usually involves visiting a penguin exhibit at a local zoo. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about penguins, what they eat, how they socialize and also the environment they live in. However, it’s also a good opportunity to learn more about how climate change has affected them and what can be done to help their situation. You might get suggestions on charities that help penguins and donations are always appreciated to help their cause.

However, if you don’t have a local zoo nearby, then celebrating Penguin Awareness Day can be done indoors, even with your children. Penguin documentaries are a great way to learn more about penguins if you have teenage children, but if they’re still young and are expecting something fun and quirky for Penguin Awareness Day, then you could watch a penguin-related film together, even if it’s a cartoon. You can also watch videos on YouTube that talk about penguins and their situation to learn more about the wonderful species.

You can also think about donating to charities that specifically cater to the needs of penguins. The Global Penguin Society, for instance, does conservation work designed to protect the penguin’s natural habitat. It also advocates for the protection of the Southern Oceans – the principal place where penguins live. It wants to protect all eighteen species of wild penguins found throughout the southern hemisphere so that future generations can enjoy them. 

Some charities also let you “adopt a penguin,” for a small amount of money every month. In return, you get regular updates on how your penguins are doing. And you can find out more about ongoing efforts to reduce fishing encroachment on their feeding grounds. Penguins are susceptible to fishing stock depletion so conservationists need to manage this carefully. 

Lastly, you can also use the hashtag #PenguinAwarenessDay on social media to either learn more about penguins or even educate others about penguins and their situation.

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