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Media Release: Twenty-eight penguin chicks hatch in nest boxes at Boulders

Date: 1st June 2009

A total of 28 penguin chicks hatch in nest boxes at Boulders - exciting kids who care about conservation.

A total of 28 penguin chicks hatch in nest boxes at Boulders - exciting kids who care about conservation.

Table Mountain National Park says that a total of 28 chicks have hatched in the new nest boxes at Boulders Penguin Colony. At the last count last week there were 32 eggs in the nest boxes. The Park shared this good news at the colony, which was a hive of activity on Thursday, 28 May 2009, when 35 learners and their teachers visited to view the nest boxes their schools have sponsored. The learners from 30 schools on the Peninsula and in the greater Cape Town area, represent about 15 000 learners who are interested in conservation.

Each sponsoring school received an informative poster about the nest boxes and a “Friends of SANParks” certificate acknowledging their sponsorship and contribution to the conservation of the African Penguin.

A total of 200 nest boxes were handed to Table Mountain National Park by iKapa Honorary Rangers, in partnership with Dyer Island Conservation Trust and the US-based Species Survival Plan as well as schools and the general public, in March this year.

The specially designed nest boxes are a response to the decline in the Red Data-listed African Penguin population. The population of African Penguins has experienced a dramatic decline in recent years to about 100 000 birds, which includes only 27 000 breeding pairs. The nest boxes are helping to conserve the Boulders Colony population of African Penguins by protecting eggs from predators and juveniles from heat exhaustion, both of which are having an impact on these charismatic sea birds.

SANParks announced recently that the project has won the 2008 Kudu Award for Honorary Rangers Project of the Year and the awards ceremony will be held in Pretoria on the 25 June 2009.

Inquiries:
Phumeza Mgxashe, Communications Manager, Table Mountain National Park, Tel: (021) 701 8692, Cell: 083 480 1522, E-mail: phumezam@sanparks.org

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