African Penguins Spheniscus Demersus Along The Kwazulu-Natal Coast, 1981–1999
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The African Penguin is rare east of Algoa Bay, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Ninety-nine penguins were found onshore along the coast of KwaZulu-Natal in 1981–1999, mostly in a state of starvation. Of these, 77% were between June and October during, and immediately after, the ‘sardine run’ of Sardine Sardinops sagax; 95% of birds that were aged were first-year birds; 96% were in the southern half of KwaZulu-Natal, south of Mtunzini (29°S) where the sardine run is strongest. The observations suggest that juvenile penguins from the nearest breeding colonies, in Algoa Bay, are drawn eastwards by the migrating Sardines; when these shoals dissipate, a lack of food leads to them coming ashore.
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