Waddle for Penguins 2014

March 07, 2014 by dyertrust

It is that time of year again, 16 people waddling along the Western Cape coastal roads, attempting to cover 120kms in 6 days.

Madness?

No, they are doing this for a mightily good cause, to raise awareness about the plight of the African Penguin.

The 4th annual Penguin promises Waddle for a Week will be taking place from the 10th to the 15th March 2014, starting in Gansbaai on the Overstrand Coast. Each day will see them cover a stretch of the coastal public roads, stopping over in the Stanford, Hermanus, Kleinmond, Bettys and Gordons bay and Strand ending in Simonstown at Boulders Beach on Saturday, 15th March.

The Penguin Promises Waddle is an annual event with its origin dating back to 2011, the Dyer Island Conservation Trust was one of the institutions which supported this project from inception, and together with Marine Dynamics, Dyer Island Cruises and the Great White House in Gansbaai still contributes via sponsorship of accommodation, and assistance withlegislative compliance for this event every year.

Today the Waddle is supported by NGOs, Charities and international associations across the world.

Raising awareness about the plight of the endangered African Penguin, which is endemic to the Southern African sub region, is vitally important as this species has suffered a decline in population of over 90% in the last 100 years.

Reasons for their decline include historic guano removal from their island colonies, changing the habitat and breeding behaviour of these burrowing breeders catastrophically. Now breeding on open ground they are vulnerable to environmental elements, such as heat exhaustion and extreme cold, as well as predation from scavengers such as Kelp Gulls and Sacred Ibis on islands and cats and dogs at the land based colonies.

Additional to this the loss of food resources from overfishing, as well as climate change causing the fish resources to migrate to areas outside of the distributional range of the African penguin, and manmade catastrophes such as disastrous oil spills contributes to the decline of this enigmatic species from their historical range.

Hayley McLellan from the Two Oceans Aquarium, the driving force behind this wonderful initiative, explains the motivation behind the event: The Waddlers are calling on all South Africans to take action and to promise to make a change in their daily lives that will effect positive change in the environment. Some suggested promises include promising to no longer use straws, or to shower rather than bath, or to stop using plastic bags, or to eat only sustainably sourced seafood. These changes can have an immense positive impact on the environment when they are made collectively.

 

 

It is easy to join the movement and contribute towards the conservation of the African Penguin by sponsoring a Penguin Home through the DICT you will be providing an African Penguin family with a safe home to breed in, and raise their valuable brood the future of their survival.

The Waddlers are encouraging people to join them anywhereen route and to make their promise at ipromise@penguinpromises.com. The final day of the Waddle, Saturday 15 March, will see the group leave from Muizenberg at 9am. They aim to reach Simons Town by 1pm and would love as many Capetonians, dressed in black and white, to join them.

The Waddle is not a fundraising campaign. Instead, the campaign on raising awareness about the plight of the African penguin and encourages people to commit to behavioral change in their daily lives. For further information about the Penguin Promises Waddle for a Week, visit www.penguinpromises.com

We will be giving updates on our facebook and twitter accounts of their progress from day to day, so be sure to visit and like these sites to ensure that you stay informed.

For any further details or information please contactthe DICT at082 907 5607 or via email at office@dict.org.za.

The DICT is proud to be sponsored by Volkswagen South Africa, who providesmuch needed logistical support for the day to day operations of the DICT, as well as providing the DICT with international exposure for our conservation efforts and projects.