Meet BirdLife South Africa scientist Christina Hagen, the brains behind The African Penguin Relocation Project, pictured with the ingenious decoys (yep - those aren’t real penguins).
Christina joined BirdLife South Africa in 2010, studying the movements of African Penguins and pushing to change the management of the fishing industry to take the needs of penguins and the ecosystem into account. While the relocation project has been thought about for several years now, it was only in 2015 that there was enough funding for Christina to start working on it full-time. “Support from Pamela Isdell allowed us to complete the initial phases of a feasibility study, monitoring of predators and fish stocks at the two potential sites and completing a risk assessment and approvals at one of the sites, De Hoop Nature Reserve. Her support has also allowed for the completion of a predator-proof fence and the installation of remote monitoring cameras and decoys,” says Christina.
Funds raised by the 505050 campaign will go towards more decoys and running costs for the project, as well as to make more progress at the second site we’re interested in at Plettenberg Bay.
It’s thanks to the hard work and dedication of scientists like Christina, conservationists, and supporters, that enable us to make a difference to our country’s bird life.