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Jackass penguin colonies in South Africa


jackass penguin colony south africa

Jackass penguins are endemic to South Africa. They are called Jackas because of their braying donkey-like sound. There are colonies around the South African coastline stretching from Namibia to almost as far as Port Elizabeth to the east.

nesting jackass penguin in south africaMuch work is being done to conserve these colonies which inevitably are in decline due to human activity, pollution and competition with seals and the fishing industry.

At one time Jackass penguins used to make their nests or burrows in ages old deposits of guano. People removed this guano in the 19th century forcing the penguins to burrow into soft soil, sand or even lay eggs in more exposed places in the open.

Breeding mainly take splace on small islands off the coast of the West Cape where, apart from seals, there are fewer predators.

Good places in South Africa to view penguin colonies are Simonstown and Betty's Bay - both within driving distance of Cape Town.