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African penguins feed on anchovies and sardines in the wild, and we simulate their diet at the Academy by offering sustainably caught herring and capelin, supplemented by vitamins, including B-1, E, and a multi-vitamin.

At every feeding a volunteer records what each bird eats, gathering data which helps biologists monitor the well-being of each individual.

Climate change and shifting ocean currents are also causing the penguins' preferred prey species to move, making it harder for the penguins to find them.Scuffles over territory are common, and there is a definite social hierarchy within the colony.Through pointing (when a penguin lowers its body to the ground and point its beak at another penguin), biting, fighting and braying, dominant birds (usually older) establish a pecking order, and will literally put a juvenile bird in its place by chasing or herding if they feel challenged.The good news is that African penguins are finding a strong ally in the Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program sponsored by the California Academy of Sciences and 53 other zoos and scientific institutions in the U. Since 1983, numerous chicks hatched at the Academy have moved to other zoos and aquariums around the country in order to maximize long-term genetic diversity in the captive-bred population.That population acts as a reservoir for genetic diversity, and could eventually be used to bolster wild penguin populations.

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