The African Penguin Relocation Project

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In collaboration with BirdLife South Africa, long-distance runner, Dave Chamberlain, will be running 50 consecutive ultramarathons to raise funds in aid of The African Penguin Relocation Project, culminating in the 50th Anniversary Two Oceans Marathon.

Quite a beakful, but it’s really quite simple. The more BirdLife South Africa raises through Dave’s feat, the better the chance of survival our beloved African Penguin has.

You can join BirdLife South Africa’s ambitious journey by pledging towards every run completed within the 50 days.

BirdLife South Africa also has a plan involving the “two oceans”. The project aims to create new African Penguin colonies in the Indian Ocean, relocating penguins from the Atlantic Ocean where they are struggling to survive.

Sardine stocks - African Penguins’ favourite food - have shifted from the west coast, where they have historically been more abundant, to the south coast. We believe this is due to a combination of changing ocean temperatures and high fishing pressure on the west coast. The shift in distribution has caused a problem for penguins on the west coast, as they can only swim up to 40 km to find food while they’re breeding.

Why can’t the penguins follow the fish? Because there aren’t any safe breeding areas on the south coast. When penguins breed on land, they’re vulnerable to predators like leopards and caracal. So they generally breed on islands which naturally don’t have predators on them. The problem is that there are no islands where the fish are now more abundant. So BirdLife South Africa is going to create safe spaces for penguins to breed on the mainland, in areas with lots of fish. Read more about the project here.