18 September 2013

Innovative surgical devices save inquisitive penguins

UK – Two important points to take away from veterinary surgeon Romain Pizzi's presentation at the recent 8th International Penguin Conference are: one, Edinburgh Zoo's penguins have a habit of swallowing things they shouldn't; and two, those penguins should be grateful for skilled vets and innovative surgical instruments.

Royal Zoological Society of Scotland vet Mr Pizzi, a pioneer in using minimally invasive surgery techniques, told the conference how he used instruments designed by Leeds-based company Surgical Innovations to carry out keyhole surgery on penguins who had swallowed foreign objects.

10 September 2013

Tracking African penguins: phase two

SOUTH AFRICA - Conservation organisation BirdLife South Africa initiated the second phase of its African Penguin Satellite Tracking Project (APST Project) at Dassen Island, just of the west coast of Cape Town, over the weekend. The project team was joined by media representatives and partner GreenMatter.

05 September 2013

Blue penguin highway death toll rising

Credit: West Coast Blue
Penguin Trust.
NEW ZEALAND – A heart-breaking sight greeted West Coast Blue Penguin Trust supporter and Fox River resident Fiona McDonald last Sunday: yet another little blue penguin road death.

To make matters worse, this penguin was one of just six counted in the area as part of the 2013 blue penguin census. Fiona picked up no less than three penguins killed on this stretch of the coast road last month, adding to the sad statistics for penguin road deaths.

04 September 2013

Deep diving penguins and deeply passionate penguin experts

Diving emperor penguins during a
foraging trip from the Cape
Washington colony in Antarctica.
Credit: Paul Ponganis, University
of California.
Emperor penguins can dive to depths of over 500m and stay underwater for up to 27 minutes – deeper and longer than any other bird species. Now research has revealed that one of the factors behind their amazing dives is their ability to slow their heart rate. ­

Researchers Alexandra Wright and Dr Paul Ponganis from the University of California will present their new findings this week at the 8th International Penguin Conference (IPC), which is being held in Bristol from 2 to 6 September.