* Threatened or Endangered

African Penguin *

 : Spheniscus demersus

 : Bird

 : Rocky coasts of Southwestern Africa and the surrounding islands

 : Fish and other marine animals

 : Weight between 5 and 8 lbs; 24-28 inches tall

 : Endangered


The African penguin is also known as the cape penguin or South African penguin. These aquatic birds are characterized by a band of black feathers across their chests and a circle of featherless skin surrounding their eyes. Like all other penguins, the African penguin is flightless and is built for life in the water. Its flippers and streamlined body make it ideal for diving for fish and other aquatic prey species.

African penguin population in the wild has declined 60 percent since the 1980s, partly due to overfishing near their colonies. This
negatively impacts penguins’ food sources and forces them to forage farther from their breeding colonies.


You can help! Grab one of our Seafood Watch guides or visit www.seafoodwatch.org to ensure you are eating seafood that is responsibly and sustainably caught.

To learn more about African Penguin conservation and one of the Dakota Zoo's conservation partners, visit www.africanpenguinsafe.org.