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Days out in the Cotswolds - Berkeley Castle

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Birdland backs Humboldt penguin census in South America

Birdland Cotswolds

A wildlife park in the Cotswolds is sponsoring a penguin census as concerns deepen over the declining number of Humboldts around the world.

Birdland Park & Gardens, home to more than 500 birds in Bourton-on-the-Water, is backing Penguins International’s survey which is taking place at various major sites in Peru.

Simon Cox, general manager of Birdland, said: “The censuses are a crucial tool in the ongoing conservation of Humboldts. We’re delighted to be able to contribute to that aim because they are fantastic, characterful birds which are much-loved by our visitors.”

The Humboldts, one of 18 penguin species, are currently classed as “endangered” by Peruvian legislation and considered “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Previous censuses have shown annual changes in both numbers and distribution of penguins, with a number of factors affecting the counts such as weather patterns, local fish stocks and human disturbance.

The population of Humboldts is decreasing, along with the other three “banded” species Galapagos, African and Magellanic, which are all identifiable by a stripe or band which runs up the side of their bodies and across the chest.

Humboldts are found in Peu and Chile and their life span in the wild is 12-15 years. There are 16,000 breeding pairs and their diet includes anchovies, squid, mackerel and crustaceans.

Birdland’s penguins were recently the subject of a survey from British and American scientists, who visited the Gloucestershire park to observe the mechanics of their walk as part of a fact-finding mission about robotics.

Birdland opens at 10am every day.
Birdland Park and Gardens, Rissington Rd, Bourton-on-the-Water, Glos, GL54 2BN.

Explore Gloucestershire
20 February 2024

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