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Excerpt from The Penguins of Boulders by Dirk Schmidt

The Penguins of BouldersIn the introduction to The Penguins of Boulders, Dirk Schmidt explains how the famous breeding colony at Boulders Beach grew from just two breeding pairs in 1982. Nambiana Buchdepot shared an excerpt from the book in which Schmidt also explains how visitors can swim with the penguins – but should be wary of their sharp beaks as they will bite if they feel threatened.

The African penguin is listed in the Red Data book as a vulnerable species. It is the only penguin species known to breed the African continent. According to the South African National Parks (SANParks), the African penguin population was estimated to be approxima 1,5 million in 1910, however by the 20th Century, less than 10% of the former population remains. The uncontrolled harvesting of penguin eggs as a source of protein, as well as the market for guano (bird droppings) as a commercial sourc of fertilizer, nearly drove the species to extinction.

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