February 02, 2021
Kids grow up too fast these days, especially African Penguin chicks!
Believe it or not, African Penguins are listed as “Endangered” under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. As an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)-accredited facility, Adventure Aquarium takes part in AZA’s Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program that oversees the population management of select species, including African Penguins, to enhance conservation of species in the wild.
Each year, breeding season kicks off at Adventure Aquarium in the beginning of September and goes through mid-January. The aquarium decides the number of chicks to add based on our institutional needs and the needs of SSP.
Like chickens, penguins can lay infertile eggs. If they don’t ‘sit’ on a nest and incubate eggs, the female will keep trying to produce an egg which can be very taxing as you can imagine. In accordance with AZA’s SSP guidelines, some penguin couples sit on “dummy” eggs to allow them to go through a normal incubation period, ultimately limiting the number of eggs produced in a season by one female. This also allows these penguins to act as foster parents, if necessary.