The Georgia Aquarium announced the successful hatching of African penguin chicks for the fourth consecutive year in 2015. Four chicks made their debut to their penguin parents throughout the month of January and are being monitored daily by Aquarium and veterinary care staff.
Georgia Aquarium said breeding programs like this one at the Georgia Aquarium’s are highly important since African penguins are included on these lists due to very rapid population decline from overfishing and environmental changes.
Georgia Aquarium is a participating member of the African penguin Species Survival Plan (SSP) led by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The SSP brings AZA-accredited facilities together and works to manage species populations, many of which are threatened or endangered. As part of the SSP, Georgia Aquarium is provided with breeding recommendations that take into account the animals’ genetic make-up to facilitate the growth of a healthy and genetically diverse population.
In 2013, Georgia Aquarium unveiled the Georgia-Pacific Penguin Nursery. This facility has allowed for animal care staff to monitor penguin eggs in a climate-controlled and protected environment before they hatch. The nursery also provides a dedicated space to accommodate specialized care should a chick require hand-rearing due to health or development concerns.
For more information on Georgia Aquarium’s African penguins and updates on the penguin chicks’ development, visit http://www.georgiaaquarium.org/