From Emperor and Adelie to King and Macaroni, penguins are some of our most beloved birds. We make them our team mascots, we put them in our movies, and we write books about them. Unfortunately, even with this international attention, these fascinating birds could face a terrifying future unless we do something. Tomorrow, January 20th, is Penguin Awareness Day and it’s time that we looked beyond these birds’ adorable appearance and focus on how global warming is impacting their lives.
While penguins are often thought of as black and white snowy creatures trudging through the Antarctic, these amazing birds vary in height (1½ feet to 3½ feet), weight (2 pounds to 80 pounds), and color (black and white, blue, and even albino). Penguins also live throughout the Southern hemisphere. In fact, there are between 17 and 19 species of penguins and most of them live in the tropics, including South America, Africa, and New Zealand and Australia.
Save the Penguins!
All of these penguins, from the ones in the tropics to the ones floating on ice, are in need of our help.
#PenguinAwarenessDay is an important campaign because these cute and cuddly animals are in danger. On the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) endangered species list, the Galapagos penguins are currently registered as “endangered” and the southern rockhopper penguins are registered as “vulnerable.” On top of that, the WWF reports that 50 percent of the emperor penguins and 75 percent of the Adelie penguins will likely decline or disappear in less than 40 years if the global average temperatures rise too high.
These penguins are in danger because of many factors. Pollution and global warming are contributing to melting ice in the Antarctic. The ice is a necessity for certain penguins as it provides them with a hunting and breeding ground. However, overfishing and oil pollution are also harming the penguin population.
For Penguin Awareness Day and beyond, do your part to help save these adorable creatures. Listed below are two simple tips that can have a great impact.
- Support organizations that look out for penguins. There are many wildlife organizations that help save the environment and endangered animals by reducing the negative impacts of human activity. So consider giving money to a wildlife organization such as the World Wildlife Fund. You can symbolically adopt a penguin and for your donation, you’ll get a “penguin kit.”
- Take better care of the environment. As mentioned previously, part of the reason penguins are in danger is because of pollution and global warming. You can do your part to protect the penguins by helping the environment. Try recycling and commuting to work and remember not to waste water. If you need more tips, try this article.