Penguins live off a diet of small FISH and crustaceans.
Penguins nest on islands and rocky coasts along the Pacific coast of South America - Chile and Peru
Penguins can see better underwater than they can on land, making it easier for them to catch their food.
Not all penguins live in cold countries – Humboldt penguins are found in South America!
Humboldt penguins are social animals and in the wild live in relatively large colonies along the coast of Chile and Peru.
Penguins are one of the most recognisable birds in the world – their black and white feathers help camouflage them in the water with their backs blending in with the water from above and their front mixing with the sunlight from below.
Penguins are astonishingly good swimmers – and can shoot through the water thanks to their torpedo shaped bodies and wings which have act as flippers.They can’t breathe underwater, but they’re able to hold their breath for long periods of time.
Many penguins are monogamous, whether for a breeding cycle or for life. Because they live in
colonies it isn’t necessarily hard to find a partner but courtship can last for 2 to 3 weeks before a
nest has been prepared and mating occurs.
Incubation periods vary by sub-species but it’s usually about one month. Once an egg is produced,
it takes about 3 days before the chick hatches and then the parents must feed and warm the baby
chick, which is born blind and without fur. Soft downy feathers start to appear after a few weeks.
Overfishing of anchovies is threatening penguin survival
In the wild Peruvian anchovies are a vital food source for penguins. They are also the most heavily overfished fish in world history.
In Peru and Chile anchovies are fished in gigantic and unsustainable numbers. Most of the catch goes to feed livestock like pigs. Humans only actually eat about 2% of what is caught.
Nearly 80% of the world’s fish stocks have been over exploited. This is a big threat to marine wildlife and habitats, including seabirds.
You can make sure all the fish you buy is from sustainably managed stocks. Have a look for these logos on the packaging. They guarantee that the fish is caught or farmed responsibly, with minimum damage to the marine environment.
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