- They have to groom their feathers often to keep them waterproof and in good condition.
- They are very agile swimmers, as they are hunted by many animals and this is their only method of escape.
- They have long claws to climb with.
- Unlike many birds, they have solid bones. These are used to keep them balanced in the water.
- Experiments suggest that they can recognise the smell of their relatives and familiar penguins.
Animals — Aves (birds) — Sphenisciformes (penguins)
Humboldt penguins are medium sized penguins named after the current they swim in. The current is cold water and can support many fish.
Classified as “Vulnerable” by the IUCN, these penguins have historically been affected by guano production reducing nest sites. More pressing concerns currently are over-fishing (reducing food sources for the penguins), climate change, ocean acidification and invasive species that may eat their eggs and young.
Habitat: Coastal and island areas. They live in burrows in soil or rock or crevices in rocks, but spend most of their time at sea.
–Average weight: 4kg (varies over the year)
–Average height: 65cm
In the wild up to: 20 years
In captivity up to: 30 years
Diet: Meat eater. Eat fish and crustaceans.
Distribution: Coasts of Peru and Chile.
We are working in an area of North West Peru in the Illescas Reserve. It is home to many threatened birds, including Andean condors, sever types of vulture, and the endangered Humboldt Penguin.
The APCPP protects the beaches from human disruption, and patrols the coastline to prevent illegal fishing. We also rescue and rehabilitate penguins to be released into the wild, and set up feeding stations to ensure the survival of these species. The APCPP is solely funded by Safari Zoo Nature Foundation.