Boulders Beach, the famous hub for penguins in South Africa, was the location of the Fall 2017 ‚ÄúPenguin Paddle‚Äù field program. Voyagers were able to sea kayak while learning about the African Penguin in their natural habitat.
The particular colony that voyagers visited was established in 1982 ‚Äî 35 years ago. During that time, only two breeding pairs were present at Boulders Beach. Today, the colony has grown to over 3,000 penguins.
In recent years, the African Penguin has become endangered due to human interaction and oil spills off the South African coast. Organizations such as the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) and the Dyer Island Conservation Trust have conducted scientific research and public educational seminars in hopes of conserving and rehabilitating the African Penguin population.
During the field program, led by Professor Seabird McKeon, voyagers learned more about the specific threats posed to the penguin population while kayaking and observing specific features of the penguin habitat.