The History of World Penguin Day
World Penguin Day is a holiday celebrated every year since 1972 when Gerry Wallace first wrote it in his wife’s calendar. Since then, this holiday was accepted all over the world. This year it will take place on Sunday the 25th of April.
This observance takes place during the annual migratory period of the Adelie penguin. This is probably the most well-known specie of penguin and they hail from Antartica. The reason for the migration is to travel up North in the search for better food sources.
The Northern travels are conducted in the Winter months and during the Summer time, they hunt the beaches of Antartica in search for sustenance. This is also the time they engage in nest-building activities.
The Reasoning Behind World Penguin Day
This unofficial holiday was created to raise awareness of this species. These adorable creature’s numbers in the wild are dwindling and subsequently, they have become endangered. Another contributing factor is that their natural habitat has come under threat due to climate change caused by human activity.
Recently the WWF reported that out of 17 different penguin species, that sadly 11 of them are currently under the threat of extinction. Therefore, this observance serves as a gentle reminder that we all have to do our part to protect their environment, defer from pollution, and decrease our fossil fuel consumption by seeking alternative, sustainable and eco-friendly solutions for the future.
In the infographic below, you can see some interesting penguin facts and info about the holiday.
Interesting Facts About Penguins for World Penguin Day
- World Penguin Day is celebrated on April 25th to honor their northward migration.
- There are 17 different species of penguins. 11 of them are endangered.
- All species of penguins live in the Southern hemisphere.
- The Emperor penguin is the largest of all penguin species at 4 feet tall.
- The smallest penguin is the Little Blue and is 16 inches tall.
- Penguins swim in groups and with a speed of 22 mph.
- Both penguin parents take care of the chick (baby penguin). They take turns in incubating the egg and feeding their bundle of fluff.
- Penguins generally live in families of six members each.
- A group of penguins on land is called a waddle, and a group of penguins in the water is called a raft.
- Apparently, the oldest pre-historic penguin fossil dates back as far as 62 million years ago. This means that during the dinosaur period, penguins walked amongst them too.
- The idea of the penguin’s “tuxedo” coloring of black and white is to provide it with camouflage as well as countershading.
- Penguins live on a diet consisting of krill, fish, and squid.
- Penguins mate for life and the female penguins choose the same male to mate with every year.
How Can You Help on World Penguin Day?
You can also play your part in helping the penguins by contributing in the following ways:
International re-location projects
Birdlife South Africa has a re-location program where you can make a donation in lieu of their conservation efforts.
Fighting climate change
You can use less electricity in your home, you can consider moving to a plant-based diet completely, or incorporating this in spurts in your lifestyle.
Supporting penguin rehabilitation programs
You can support the efforts of organizations such as SANCCOB and APSS. They do work such as rehabilitate penguins after ships produce oil spills in the ocean.
Choosing to consume WWF SASSI Green Seafood
A big threat to the penguin numbers is that humans compete with them for their main food sources such as anchovies and sardines. You can download the WWF SASSI App to check seafood that you can still consume, but that does not pose a threat to sea life.
Celebrate penguins by reading about them, dress in penguin colors, visit the local zoo or donate to a non-profit organization. Follow hashtags #WorldPenguinDay and #ILoveVeterinary to see how others celebrate this day.