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Standing with its feet apart, a penguin slowly raises its head, pointing the beak upwards.Wings lifted outward, the chest heaves with an inhale of air, followed by a loud braying sound.The good news is that African penguins are finding a strong ally in the Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program sponsored by the California Academy of Sciences and 53 other zoos and scientific institutions in the U. Since 1983, numerous chicks hatched at the Academy have moved to other zoos and aquariums around the country in order to maximize long-term genetic diversity in the captive-bred population.That population acts as a reservoir for genetic diversity, and could eventually be used to bolster wild penguin populations.African penguins feed on anchovies and sardines in the wild, and we simulate their diet at the Academy by offering sustainably caught herring and capelin, supplemented by vitamins, including B-1, E, and a multi-vitamin.At every feeding a volunteer records what each bird eats, gathering data which helps biologists monitor the well-being of each individual.

Or perhaps it's the fact that they are highly social and form long-term bonds.Males are banded on the right, females on the left.Couples, which typically have the same colored wing bands, can often be seen grooming one another near the nest box they share.Watch for these commonly seen behaviors and processes that offer a window into penguin biology and their complex social interactions.Preening In order to stay warm, a penguin must constantly work to keep their feathers clean, well-oiled, and waterproof.

Based on major population declines (at least 90 percent over the 20th century), African penguins were designated as an endangered species in September 2010 by the IUCN and the USFWS.

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