A conservation partnership between Hikvision and the Dyer Island Conservation Trust (DICT) is bringing the African penguins to the people. In the first phase of the project new HikVison surveillance cameras will be installed at the African Penguin & Seabird Sanctuary, a project of the DICT. This will allow the public to view the feeding and rehabilitation process as well as keep an eye on the antics of the penguins in the pre-release conditioning pen. “We have always wanted to share the daily work we do at the APSS with a larger audience and through the use of cameras this will be possible. The planning of this project started in 2019, little did we know that the coronavirus will drive the world to zoom meetings and a more online experience. Lockdown has prohibited visitors for the time being, so being able to view the penguins from one’s home will mean we don’t have to forget about our feathered friends,” says Trust founder Wilfred Chivell. The African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary plans to broadcast daily live feedings on their you tube channel. Visitors in Gansbaai can visit the sanctuary and see first-hand the efforts being made for the species.
Hikvision designs and tailors network cameras to meet various needs – from general video surveillance to video content analytics. Ping Yu from HikVision South Africa based in Cape Town elaborated on the partnership, “Hikvision is committed to the use of technology for good. We are very pleased to be able to help support the efforts of APSS and we hope that by bringing a view of this iconic species to more people that it will translate into further donations for this critical conservation work.”
In phase two of the project we hope to include CapeNature and to deploy cameras on Dyer Island. Due to the sensitive nature of the island it is not open for the public, but with the use of cameras, we can provide people with a view of the what the penguins get up to on the island.
The African penguin is classified endangered with an estimated 13 300 breeding pairs left in South Africa, and all efforts in rehabilitation are to ensure future breeding populations. Historical factors of guano scraping for agricultural fertilizer destroyed their breeding habitat leading to predation during the crucial fledgling stage. An estimated 13million plus eggs were harvested as a delicacy causing the initial crash in numbers. Now the African penguin faces issues of predation by gulls, seal and sharks; oiling; marine pollution; and a lack of fish with overfishing in their crucial hunting grounds.
Special thanks to Computer Hut for installation.