Re-Colonization

May 14, 2013 by dyertrust

All over South Africa people are being left homeless, mostly due to environmental disasters flooding, wildfires and poverty this is heartbreaking to see and experience.

It is happening to our African Penguins as well. At Stony Point African Penguin Colony in Bettys Bay the colony has grown exponentially, forcing some inhabitants to have to seek shelter and viable breeding habitat outside of the colonies boundaries. Unfortunately, this meant that these penguins were moving into the residential areas.

To counteract the complaints from the local community, which included complaints about the noise, destruction of cultivated gardens and overall hygiene, CapeNature and the Overstrand Municipality teamed up to repair the old dilapidated fence which originally enclosed the colony.

The completion of this fence left about 300 African Penguins to be relocated back into the colony. To facilitate this re-colonization Stony Point Manager, Cuan McGeorge, ordered 150 artificial nests from the DICT to ease the transition from the residential area to the colony for the relocated penguins. Within 5 days there were penguins that had moved into the nests and days later there were eggs in some of these new nests. A further 50 nests was sent to the colony for placement mid February, and overall there is a 83% occupancy rate over the 200 nests deployed at the colony, with most of the occupied nests containing eggs and chicks. This afforded us an opportunity to utilize donated temperature loggers from Sensitech Cold Chain Management, to monitor the temperature of the nests over an extended period of time this data will be used to compare open ground and artificial nests temperatures, to assist the DICT to produce more environmentally efficient artificial nests, thus ensuring a more comfortable breeding environment for the African Penguin.

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