Articles Posted in the Conservation category

Penguin spotting on Robben Island

July 2, 2008
Posted in Conservation

Much like no two zebras have the same stripe pattern, scientists working on Cape Town’s Robben Island believe that African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) have a pattern of black spots on their chests that is unique to each penguin – a useful way of identifying individuals.

Monitoring a population of 20,000 or so penguins is something of a challenge, though. Using conventional tagging techniques, only a small percentage of the population can be captured, tagged and monitored. But thanks to the penguin’s spots, scientists working on the Penguin Recognition Project have developed a far less intrusive monitoring system. Read more