Georgia Aquarium's African penguins have been busy building their nests in our Georgia Pacific Cold Water Quest gallery, and Aquarium staff is excited to see if there will be any new additions to the growing penguin colony!
Since 2012, the Aquarium's African penguins have produced 24 successful hatchlings as part of the Species Survival Program (SSP). All chicks, many of which are now adults, are shown below with Senior Animal Care & Training Specialist, Erin Morlang. Talk about penguin cuteness overload!
Georgia Aquarium loves these adorable penguins, and is also aware of the importance of sustaining this species, which is listed as “endangered” by IUCN. In the 20th century alone, the population of African penguins declined by 90 percent due to threats such as oil spills, guano collection and decreasing food availability. As an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Georgia Aquarium works alongside other organizations across the country to support the preservation of African penguins. We are proud to be an active participant in such efforts as AZA’s Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE) program, which focuses on conserving animals in the wild, and the Species Survival Program (SSP), which focuses on the sustainability of endangered species.
Through managed breeding, Georgia Aquarium works to ensure the long term sustainability of African penguins in AZA accredited zoos and aquariums, which in turn can help us better understand these animals, leading to conservation initiatives to help their counterparts in southern Africa. Environmental and behavioral factors that contribute to the conservation of African penguins are able to be assessed through the constant care of Aquarium veterinary staff and animal experts.
The care of African penguins is part of a much larger effort to support endangered species. Georgia Aquarium is dedicated to spreading awareness through the Caring Together for Animals program, which with the help of its supporters, contributes more to the research and conservation of all of these amazing animals.
Georgia Aquarium will host Party with the Penguins on Saturday, Jan. 23 to celebrate Penguin Awareness Day.