Wildlife

Efforts to Save Penguins

Scientists in South Africa are trying to save from extinction the only penguin that breeds in Africa by establishing a new colony at a protected site about 140 miles southeast of Cape Town.

More than 1 million pairs of what was once South Africa’s most abundant seabird thrived back in the 1920s. But people began harvesting their eggs for human consumption, helping to cause the populations to plunge to around 13,000 breeding pairs last year. Dwindling fish stocks and climate change have also contributed to the decline. About 50 hand-raised juvenile birds, abandoned by their parents, will be released each year to try to establish a colony at the De Hoop nature reserve.

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Covid-19 Threat to Wildlife

Canadian researchers warn that whales and other marine mammals could become infected with COVID-19 through inadequately treated sewage effluents.

While no such cases have been reported, scientists at Dalhousie University say their genomic mapping determined that almost all whale, dolphin and porpoise species have the same or higher susceptibility to the coronavirus as humans. “Many of these species are threatened or critically endangered,” said Dalhousie’s Graham Dellaire. “In the past, these animals have been infected by related coronaviruses that have caused both mild disease as well as life-threatening liver and lung damage.”

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