Donatello. Picture: Saambr
Donatello. Picture: Saambr
Equinox. Picture: Saambr
Equinox. Picture: Saambr
Cyclops. Picture: Saambr
Cyclops. Picture: Saambr
Flash. Picture: Saambr
Flash. Picture: Saambr

Durban - The year is far from over but seven penguins have already been rescued along the coast of KwaZulu-Natal.

According to the KZN Marine Stranding Network, eight penguins in distress were recorded along the KZN coast in 2017.

“This year, seven have already been rescued but the reason for this increase is unknown at this stage,” the KZN Marine Stranding Network said on their Facebook page.

According to the network, August and September were busy months with juvenile African penguins being reported in distress. Four penguins were rescued along the KZN coast from Mtunzini, Zinkwazi, Durban and Umzumbe. These penguins are currently being rehabilitated at uShaka Sea World.

“These endangered birds are endemic, meaning they are native to southern Africa and really special! They are endangered because it was believed that at one time, this species may have been South Africa’s most abundant seabird but has had massive declines over the last century from approximately one million pairs to just 25 000 pairs in 2009, with a further decline of 70 per cent since 2004,” the network said.

It is believed that the decline is believed to have been caused by egg collection for human consumption, guano (bird poop) harvesting which changed their nesting behaviour, human disturbance, oil spills and the change and decrease of fish stocks in the vicinity of their breeding colonies.

Daily News