Monday, October 4, 2010

New Paper on How Endangered Penguins Are Already Benefitting From Protection

Marine no-take zone rapidly benefits endangered penguin

  1. L. Pichegru1,*,
  2. D. Grémillet3,
  3. R. J. M. Crawford2,4 and
  4. P. G. Ryan1
+ Author Affiliations

  1. 1Percy FitzPatrick Institute, DST/NRF Centre of Excellence, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa

  2. 2Animal Demography Unit, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa

  3. 3Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CEFE UMR 5175, 1919 Route de Mende, 34 293 Montpellier Cedex 5, France

  4. 4Marine and Coastal Management, Department of Environmental Affairs, Private Bag X2, Rogge Bay 8012, South Africa
  1. *Author for correspondence (


No-take zones may protect populations of targeted marine species and restore the integrity of marine ecosystems, but it is unclear whether they benefit top predators that rely on mobile pelagic fishes. In South Africa, foraging effort of breeding African penguins decreased by 30 per cent within three months of closing a 20 km zone to the competing purse-seine fisheries around their largest colony. After the fishing ban, most of the penguins from this island had shifted their feeding effort inside the closed area. Birds breeding at another colony situated 50 km away, whose fishing grounds remained open to fishing, increased their foraging effort during the same period. This demonstrates the immediate benefit of a relatively small no-take zone for a marine top predator relying on pelagic prey. Selecting such small protected areas may be an important first conservation step, minimizing stakeholder conflicts and easing compliance, while ensuring benefit for the ecosystems within these habitats.

Source for full paper 


Dyer Island Conservation Trust said...

What a great blog - thank you! Check out is doing alot of work and research on the African Penguin. Blog can also be viewed at

wiinterrr said...

I'm so glad you like the work done here. And yes, those good folks on Dyer Island rock! I recently posted an article from a new writer there and his enthusiasm is contagious. :-) Check it out on the link: Penguin News Today.