DICT Celebrates African Penguin Awareness Day

October 15, 2017 Dyer ISland Conservation Trust

The Dyer Island Conservation Trust team embraced African Penguin Awareness Day with education, a penguin release and a fun concert by DICT’s environmental education group.

Pinkey Ngewu and Mervin Visagie visited the local Gansbaai primary schools where they enlightened students about the plight of this endangered species by sharing important and fun facts and teaching a special penguin dance. On Saturday, 14 October the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary (a project of DICT) released four recovered penguins back into their natural home. The group was representative of all the sea-going ages. Once penguins have passed their fluffy chick stage, anything from 60 to 130 days from hatching, they become what is termed blues. This is when they have lost their fluffy feathers, are now waterproof and have a blue sheen on their feathers. Their stomach is white and they do not look much like an adult penguin with its distinctive black and white. In fact before they will look like that they still have a rather ugly ‘teenager’ phase to go through with their drab brown feather colour and splotchy white headgear.

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DEEP Goes Camping!

October 09, 2017 Dyer Island Conservation Trust

The Dyer Island Conservation Trust works with dedicated learners from Masakhane Primary school and runs for three years to monitor and evaluate their progress and impact Environmental Education can do to young kids.

At the end of each year learners from the first and second year go on an educational camp. This year the learners went to Wortelgat in Stanford where they spent the weekend learning about teamwork and how to care for the environment. They had a fun filled day of activities on Saturday which were focussed on team work. As a treat the learners were given an opportunity to go canoeing in the Stanford River.

This was a lifetime experience for them. We would like to thank our sponsors PlasLantic, Community Chest, Mike Gibbs, Marine Dynamics, Dyer Island Cruises and International Marine Volunteers.

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October 02, 2017 Dyer Island Conservation Trust

Since 2009 the Dyer Island Conservation Trust (DICT) has been part of the eco marine tent and this year the team once again played a critical role in educating festival goers about whales, sharks and the endangered African penguin. The Trust’s corporate sponsor, Volkswagen South Africa, also stepped up to highlight marine pollution with a special light display made of recycled materials. The message was that of ‘lighting the way to cleaner beaches.’ The installation is a sneak preview of the larger light Installation coming to Gansbaai this festive season.

While many were fascinated by the lights and inspired to do similar, for some the message fell on deaf ears as many people attending the festival disregarded the many bins supplied by the municipality. This highlighted the need for continued efforts on the part of many in educating the public on the effects pollution has not only on our marine life but on people’s health as well.

Various members of the team also gave educational talks in the whale museum: Alison Towner on white shark / orca interactions; Meredith Thornton on whales; Theanette Staal on the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary and Dickie Chivell on his Shark Week filming experiences.

“The highlight for all of us was the interest taken by the children in matching shark fins, hugging Molly the fluffy penguin or learning about whales and shark eggs. It is really rewarding to see some of the young budding biologists who clearly inspired their parents,” said Brenda du Toit, Public Relations of Marine Dynamics that sponsored the space for the Trust.

Special thanks are extended to the eco-marine tent organisers, Jeanette du Toit and Linda Chivell and CapeNature for sponsoring the additional space for DICT.

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