Penguins African Penguins and the Blue Economy: Building a Foundation to prevent Extinction

2nd Call
African Penguins
Icon Penguins

Project Summary

African penguins are vital components of the coastal biodiversity, serving as bioindicators of ecosystem health and making significant contributions to the Blue Economy. Despite their importance, their population has declined by over 95% in the last 100 years, primarily due to a combination of human local stressors and the effects of climate change. Some predictions suggest they could face extinction in the wild within the next 20 to 80 years. Conservation efforts thus far have been hindered by knowledge gaps, fragmented management, and questions surrounding stakeholder buy-in. The project focused on optimising conservation policies through active engagement with key stakeholder groups, including researchers, local residents, and fishermen. A key component of the project was the avian influenza initiative, aimed at tracking and understanding health patterns of African penguins. Penguins developed tools for monitoring and managing the penguin population, thereby establishing a crucial foundation for contributing knowledge and skills in the fight against their extinction.

Key Impacts

Icon Capacity Development


The project involved diverse stakeholders, including young researchers who gained valuable experience and training in penguin rehabilitation, management, and conservation during placements at SANCCOB.
Icon Science Policy


The project facilitated science-policy-society transfers of knowledge and saw unprecedented interaction between scientists, governmental agencies, and NGO groups.
Icon Digital Innovation


The project developed various digital innovations, among them a reporting tool, a WebMap, and a dashboard for avian influenza assessment and management.
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