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Biodiversity & Environment

India's First Baby Penguin

  • 17 Aug 2018
  • 3 min read

India's first Humboldt Penguin chick hatched on 15th August at the Byculla zoo in Mumbai.

  • According to the Zoo officials, the DNA test for the determination of the sex of the baby penguin will be conducted later.
  • The egg of the Humboldt penguins was laid last month.The nestling became the first to be born in India.

Humboldt Penguin

  • Humboldt penguin is named after the cold ocean current, known as Humboldt current (discovered by German explorer Alexander von Humboldt), that is typical for the natural habitat of this species of penguin (west coast of South America).

Note: The Humboldt current, also known as the Peru Current, is an ocean current that flows along the western coast of South America, affecting the water and air temperatures of coastal chile and Peru.

  • Habitat: This penguin nests on islands and rocky coasts and feeds in surrounding waters. Its habitat is highly influenced by the cold, nutrient-rich Humboldt Current flowing northward from Antarctica, which is vital to the productivity of plankton and krill and fosters fish abundance.
  • Range: The Humboldt penguin lives along the coasts of Chile and Peru in the southeastern Pacific Ocean.
  • Migration: When not raising chicks, these penguins have been known to travel long distances at sea to find food, especially in recent years as prey species become increasingly scarce.
  • Breeding: Humboldt penguins can breed at any time of year, usually digging burrow-like nests among piles of guano in caves and along cliffs.
  • Life Cycle: This penguin's lifespan is about 20 years.
  • Feeding: Humboldt penguins feed primarily on fish, especially anchovies, herring and smelt.
  • Major threats
  • Changes in ocean currents and temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, apparently driven by global warming, appear to be a grave threat to the species' survival.
  • El Niño southern oscillation events reduce the upwelling of cold, nutrient-laden waters to reduce penguin prey and overall productivity.
  • This penguin is also imperiled by intense commercial fishing and oil pollution.
  • The Humboldt Penguin was classified by IUCN as a Vulnerable species in 2002.
  • The Humboldt Penguin is also a protected species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

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