Fish feast boosts penguin numbers
Date: July 7, 2015
Source: University of Exeter
Summary: Survival of endangered African penguin chicks increased by 18 percent following a trial three-year fishery closure around Robben Island in South Africa, a new study has found.
The results, which are published in the Royal Society JournalBiology Letters, indicate that even small 'no-take zones' can dramatically improve the survival chances of endangered species.
The African penguin population is in freefall, with adult survival rates over the last decade desperately low. Although the ban on commercial fishing off Robben Island has boosted chick survival, the long term prospect for the species remains gloomy.
Dr Richard Sherley from the University of Exeter said: "One of the major challenges of conserving a mobile species like the African penguin is that once they leave a protected area they are subject to outside pressures and dangers, including poor prey availability.