South Africa

African penguin populations have decreased by 60% during the last 30 years.

The problem

The largest threats to the survival of the African penguin are climate change, diminishing food sources because of commercial fishing and habitat destruction. One of the most distressing forces affecting the survival of these penguins is oil spills.

How we help

We partner with the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Costal Birds (SANCCOB), a nonprofit organization with the primary objective of reversing the decline of seabird populations through the rescue, rehabilitation and release of ill, injured, abandoned and oiled seabirds. In addition to sending Zoo staff to volunteer with SANCCOB to help with rehabilitation efforts after oil spills, the Zoo raises thousands of dollars every year to help support the organization’s day-to-day operations.

The Zoo also participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums African Penguin Species Survival Plan as one of the foremost breeding programs in the world. African penguin chicks hatched at Seneca Park Zoo have been sent to 25 accredited zoos and aquariums across North America. Since 1999, the Zoo has had dozens of successful hatchlings. Scientific knowledge gained from the success of breeding programs in zoos is being used to help assist breeding programs in situ, where population decline is due in large part to breeding failure.

What you can do

Make a $1 donation to SANCCOB when you purchase admission tickets at the Zoo’s Front Gate.