30 December 2015

Penguin protection measures working in Simon's Town

SOUTH AFRICA - The City of Cape Town has released a statement thanking members of the public for their cooperation in ensuring its measures to protect endangered African penguins in Simon's Town are working.

No more penguins have been killed along the identified Simon’s Town hotspots since the measures were introduced on 1 November. They include mandatory leash areas for dog walkers, camera traps to monitor penguin attacks, and penguin monitors to ensure the birds are not harassed by visiting members of the public.

"The African penguin is our shared heritage and its survival in an urban environment requires a joint effort," said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, Environmental and Spatial Planning, Councillor Johan van der Merwe.

The City is pleased with the effectiveness of the penguin monitors, who will continue to patrol the area from sunrise to sunset on a full-time basis until 31 January 2016, when their continued presence will be evaluated.

Before the City implemented the penguin protection measures, more than 40 penguins had been killed since the beginning of the year.

Based on the observed incident patterns, field observations and the necropsy reports from the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) veterinarian, it was deduced that the most likely predator was one or more dogs.

"This was a substantial loss to the penguin breeding population in Simon’s Town," said Councillor Van Der Merwe.

"We will do our best to strike the appropriate balance between protecting the African penguin, while at the same time not over-regulating human recreation in the area."

Source
City's penguin protection measures in Simonstown working [media release], City of Cape Town, 28 December 2015

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