The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds or SANCCOB centre at Cape Recife in Port Elizabeth does an amazing job as part of the conservation of the African Penguin, especially here in Algoa Bay. The centre was previously known as SAMREC and doesn’t just play a huge role in conservation, but also in educating locals and visitors alike. Because of this the centre has become one of Port Elizabeth’s main tourist attractions.
The activities SANCCOB do include the rescue and rehabilitation of injured or polluted seabirds (not just penguins exclusively), research, training and then education of both school groups and general visitors to the centre. The rehabilitation process is always done with an eye on releasing the birds back into the wild, and one of SANCCOB’s most popular activities is release day when visitors can go and watch the penguins getting released back into the sea from the beach at Cape Recife.
The importance of centres like SANCCOB at Cape Recife is even more clear when one looks at the following statistics. There are only 13,000 breeding pairs of African penguins left in South Africa. The biggest breeding colony for these birds is at St Croix Island in Algoa Bay and Bird Island. The penguin population in Algoa Bay has fallen sharply, from 10,900 breeding pairs in 2015 to only 6,100 in 2019. Of the breeding pairs lost in Algoa Bay between 2018 and 2019, St. Croix Island accounted for 84% – with only 3,638 breeding pairs remaining on the island. No wonder the African Penguin is listed as Endangered.
So why this post? Two reasons. I had some nice penguin pictures taken at SANCCOB before lockdown that I wanted to share with you and to encourage you to support SANCCOB in any way possible. Even if its just visiting to learn more about these flightless tuxido’d sea birds and paying the entrance fee.
This is not a sponsored post