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4 More African Black-Footed Penguins Have Arrived at New York Aquarium

4 More African Black-Footed Penguins Have Arrived at New York Aquarium

The new additions can now be seen in the Sea Cliffs habitat along with almost 30 other black-footed penguins.


The African black-footed penguin is classified as Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which might make finding them at zoos and aquariums a little difficult. But the New York Aquarium has just added four more birds to its colony, which now numbers nearly 30 penguins. The newcomers are between a few months and 1.5 years old. They can be found in the aquarium’s Sea Cliffs habitat.

Black-footed penguins face threats such as human disturbance at nesting sites, oil exploration, and climate change in the wild. At the New York Aquarium, penguin chicks are hatched in nest boxes away from their eventual habitat sites, and animal care staff monitor and care for the chicks until they’re ready to join the rest of the colony. These penguins are sometimes called “jackass penguins” because of their distinctive, donkey-like voice and way of talking to each other.

“They are really cool animals,” Jon Forrest Dohlin, director of the New York Aquarium and vice president of the Wildlife Conservation Society, said in an interview with AM New York. “It’s amazing that a relatively small bird can make that kind of noise.”



Visit the penguins on the Coney Island Boardwalk this summer and you’ll have access to the rest of the aquarium, which connects visitors to marine life in New York waters and around the world through innovative exhibits and world-class animal care, educates more than 60,000 youth and adults in formal education programs, and conducts field research and conservation policy action in the waters of New York. The black-footed penguins are bred at the aquarium as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan (SSP), a cooperative breeding program between zoos and aquariums that helps maintain sustainable populations of endangered animals.

RELATED: Check out zoos and aquariums in the New York area

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Jacqueline Neber

Author: Jacqueline Neber is a social journalism MA candidate at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. When she’s not reporting, you can find her petting someone else’s dog. See More

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