From the Cape Argus in South Africa:
South Africa: Gannets Face a Sea of Troubles
January 26, 2007
The beautiful Cape Gannet, an iconic species of the local coastline that has lent its name (in Afrikaans, Malgas) to places like Malgas Island in Saldanha Bay and the village on the Breede River, is in trouble.
The gannet is one of three endemic seabirds that occur naturally only on the Cape and southern Namibian coasts (the others being the African Penguin and the Cape Cormorant), and it breeds at just six sites, three each in South Africa and Namibia.
Once numbering in their hundreds of thousands of breeding pairs, the population of this species on the West Coast has crashed and it now faces a daunting array of threats, says leading Cape Town ornithologist Peter Ryan, an associate professor at UCT’s FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology.
In an article in the next edition of Africa – Birds and Birding titled “Going, going Gannet …”, Ryan explains why the gannets – and also the penguins and cormorants – are in a major biological crisis.
All three birds use the food chain in the highly productive Benguela ecosystem off the West Coast.
Cape Gannet threatened with extinction: here.
African penguins: here.
Wildlife Extra: African penguins suffer under stormy weather conditions: here.