A. Legal protection for penguins
1 . Currently all 17 species of penguins are legally protected from hunting and egg collecting. At least three species are considered at risk (del Hoyo, et al., 1992). For current status of all penguin species, see Appendix.
2. The Antarctic Treaty was signed by 12 nations in 1959 and reauthorized in 1991 to protect Antarctica and preserve its living resources. The Treaty makes it illegal to harm, or in any way interfere with, a penguin or its eggs. Every penguin specimen collected with a permit must be approved by and reported to the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR) (Sparks and Soper, 1987; Muller-Schwarze, 1984; del Hoyo, et al., 1992).
3. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international treaty developed in 1973 to regulate trade in certain wildlife species, including penguins. CITES categorizes various animals according to their current status.
a. Appendix I lists species identified as currently endangered, or in danger of extinction.
b. Appendix II lists species as threatened, or likely to become endangered.
c. Appendix III lists species needing additional protection, but are not yet considered endangered or threatened.
B. Wildlife refuges
Protection of habitat began in the early 1900s. In 1919 the Tasmanian government stopped all exploitation of penguins on Macquarie Island and proclaimed the island a sanctuary. In 1924 the French declared the Kerguelen Islands off Antarctica a National Park (Sparks and Soper, 1987).
C. Conservation management plan
The Conservation Assessment and Management Plan (CAMP) is an assessment tool to evaluate the status of various animals and to determine conservation priorities. CAMP was developed by the Captive Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG) of the Species Survival Commission of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN)/World Conservation Union. A 1992 conference on penguins was held in New Zealand and resulted in the recommendations of further survey and census work; more intensive wild management and research; and captive breeding programs for nine species and subspecies (Ellis, 1993).
D. Zoological parks
1 . Most people do not have the opportunity to observe penguins in the wild. The unique ability to observe and learn directly from live animals increases public awareness and appreciation of wildlife.
2. The Species Survival Plan (SSP) is a captive propagation and management program to preserve, in zoos and aquariums, species that are threatened or endangered in the wild. The American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) Wildlife Conservation Management Committee (WCMC) has designated an SSP for Humboldt penguins. Sea World of California is considered a "Participating Institution."
3. Currently the four SeaWorld parks maintain emperor, king, Adélie, gentoo, chinstrap, rockhopper, macaroni, Magellanic, and Humboldt penguin species. Each of these species has successfully reproduced within the parks' comprehensive breeding program.
Appendix: penguin species
SeaWorld/Busch Gardens Animal Information Database
www.seaworld.org / www.buschgardens.org
©2002 Busch Entertainment Corporation.
All Rights Reserved.