Monthly Archives: April 2008

World Penguin Day


Photo Credit: markren at flickr

On the 25th of April every year, the Adelie penguins in the Antarctic begin their annual northward migration. The Adelies start migrating in the Antarctic fall season and won’t return to their colonies until the following spring. In true synchronized fashion, the Adelies dive into the frigid waters answering their Nature’s call to migrate.

They will swim north for only a few hundred miles (around 600km) and stay among icebergs that are floating about, feasting on krill and other penguin delicacies.

So really, these penguins don’t actually go anywhere when they migrate. They’ll bob around in the ocean and rest on the ice until it’s time to head back home to Antarctica.

Actually, the reason they do this is because the days in Antarctica are becoming darker during this time of year. Adelies do not see too well in the dark so they migrate north so they can hunt for food, otherwise they would starve.

Have a wonderful Penguin Day and try to do something penguinish, whether it be reading more about them, go to the zoo or aquarium, or maybe buying up hordes of penguin merchandise.

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Little Blue in South Africa?

It would seem that a Little Blue has come a long way to visit its distant Blackfooted cousins! A juvenile Fairy penguin was found stranded at Cape Henderson a few weeks ago by a local resident, one Arina Bernstein. Little Blues are only found natively in southern Australia and New Zealand so how this little guy made it all the way to Africa is quite a feat! I’d be very interested to know this penguin’s story.

“It’s half the adult size of our only endemic penguin – the African penguin. This is possibly a first recording along the South African coast for the species … It won’t be available for public viewing until authorities are happy it won’t spread any diseases or have any harmful effect on any of our local species.”

– Kevin Cole, Scientist at the East London Museum in South Africa

[via PenguinsLand]

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Save a Penguin, Take the Bus

Save a Penguin, Take a Motorcoach

Several species of penguins whose habitats are endangered by climate change today urged Americans to go green for Earth Day 2008 by taking motorcoaches, the most environmental way to travel because of buses’ drastically lower carbon dioxide emissions compared with airlines, trains, and automobiles, according to several studies.

With the help of an educational eight-page booklet produced on their behalf by the American Bus Association, the penguins sent a powerful message to policy-makers titled “Save A Penguin. Take A Motorcoach.” The penguins urged media to download and read the brochure.

“By supporting motorcoach transportation, which gets 184 passenger miles per gallon and is the most fuel efficient way to travel, you might just help save an ice cap or two,” said ABA President & CEO Peter J. Pantuso. “As gas prices climb toward $4 per gallon, and Americans become more ecologically conscious, we have a perfect opportunity to raise awareness among policy-makers and the public about the importance of taking buses to help save the planet and preserve penguins.”

Motorcoaches provide congestion mitigation benefits in that each full motorcoach takes up to 55 single-occupant cars off the road at one time.

Motorcoaches also play a crucial role in reducing energy use and in helping America cut its dependence on foreign sources of fuel, without sacrificing amenities such as upholstered seats, personal climate controls, entertainment systems and restrooms.

“Park your car for a penguin,” Pantuso concluded. “If they could talk, penguins would say, ‘Think of us and take the bus. Motorcoaches are nice and help save our ice.”

This Earth Day and beyond, try to do at least a little something to help out. Over the past year, I’ve linked to numerous articles in my del.icio.us feed and mentioned some in entries here about how several species of penguins are threatened by not only climate change but other threats including ourselves and our industries. I know it sounds cliché but every little bit helps and try to do what you can. Political debate aside, the truth still is that this is the only Earth we have and the same goes for the penguins. Once a species goes extinct, we can’t bring them back.

[via ABA]

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Earthcare fears for penguin colony

A penguincolony living in St Kilda could get increased protection from vandals and dogs, but not from the contaminants that will be disturbed this week by the controversial channel deepening project.

With dredging in the contaminated parts of the Yarra River to begin in earnest tomorrow, environment group Earthcare St Kilda has stepped-up calls for the Port of Melbourne and the Brumby Government to increase monitoring of the penguins.

The specialist dredger Goomai moved into the Yarra near Newport yesterday, where it will remove the riverbed above key infrastructure, including an underground sewer owned by Melbourne Water.

Earthcare spokeswoman Tiana Preston said the group, which has campaigned for greater penguin protection for months, was alarmed that sediments containing lead, mercury and DDT were about to be disturbed, yet no extra protection had been provided for the penguins.

Planning Minister Justin Madden recommended the St Kilda penguins be given extra protection in a report on the channel deepening project released in October last year.

Read more at The Age.

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Matryoshka Penguins

My wife and I were at the mall yesterday and I happened to find this awesome matryoshka (or babooshka) doll in Claire’s (wife was shopping for stuff for our daughter, I was wandering around). I knew I needed to have one as they only had a couple left. In case you aren’t familiar with matryoshka dolls, they’re wooden dolls (originating from Russia) with more dolls nested inside each one, the last one being a baby which does not open. You may have seen the Higglytown Heroes which resemble matryoshka dolls. Each of these penguins are painted with a different expression. You can see more pictures by clicking on the picture above.

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Meet Sydney the Penguin

Sidney the Blackfooted Penguin

A cute little Blackfooted penguin chick named Sydney is set to debut at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh this Saturday. Sidney is named after the captain of the NHL Pittsburgh Penguins, Sydney Crosby. This cute little guy was born eight weeks ago at the Erie Zoo and has spent the last few weeks getting himself settled at the aviary. Click on the picture to check out a video of Sydney.

[via PenguinsLand]

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