July 21, 2010 by dyertrust

Ichaboe (pronounced Itcha-boo) Island lies off the coast of Namibia, 50kms north from Luderitz, the closest inhabited town.

Lawrence Green is his book At Daybreak over the Isles published in 1950, said of Ichaboe I had never dreamt of bird life in such profusion until I saw Ichaboe. This is one of the unknown wonders of the world.

Ichaboe is a Hottentot name and is believed to mean the lonely place.

A history of guano scraping has left the island floor exposed. The guano was once estimated to be 22m deep back in the 1840s. Greens book goes on to tell some interesting tales of the fight over the valuable guano for agricultural fertilizer.

The Island falls under the management of the Namibian Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources. Like Dyer Island, Ichaboe is also classified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife. It remains one of the most densely packed breeding areas for seabirds in the area. It is estimated that the African Penguin population here is 615 breeding pairs (2009 count by researcher Jessica Kemper).

The island is devoid of vegetation and low lying thus prone to storm damage. Due to the need for shelter for the African Penguin form weather conditions and predators, Wilfred Chivell, founder of the Trust, visited Ichaboe Island (Namibia) this June. Twenty nests have been given to the Island headman, Tony Delport, to assist with the fledgling success of the African Penguin, recently ,moved on to the endangered list.

Wilfred, Susan and Tony together planted 7 of the nests and already two have been adopted by the penguins. The rest will be placed by Tony and his team and we are grateful for their assistance.

To learn more about the Faces of Need nesting project and to donateclick here.