Sunday, September 20, 2009
I am privileged to live in a city that still has real Nature. These are African Penguins that formed a small colony on Boulders Beach, outside of Simonstown in the 80's, a place just a 30-minute drive from my home. African Penguins are listed as a vulnerable species in the Red Data Book.
Like all ocean-living species, threats to African Penguins have been escalating.
In the early 1900's, egg and guano collecting decimated the southern island colonies of these birds. It is estimated that maybe 10% of the population survived. Since then, we've had a lot of oil spills and a lot of fishing. Today, we know the problems at sea are even worse.
Once I visited Boulders Beach and photographed a pair of penguins lying together in their sunny burrow with old-wing-flippers across each others backs. Penguins form deep monogamous bonds.
Today, I felt grateful that these penguins were there - toddling around boulders, burrowing under wild olives, braying on the beach and standing still in their moult, waiting for the next Ocean.