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Dec 14, 2007

Successful captive breeding of Humboldt’s Penguins over multiple generation

Successful captive breeding of Humboldt’s Penguins over multiple generation from Dudley Zoological Gardens

Sustained breeding of penguins

The Humboldt’s Penguin (Spheniscus humboldti) has been held at Dudley Zoo since the zoo opened in the late 1930s.

Now listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red Data List and on Appendix 1 of CITES, the current large breeding group is part of the EEP for this species.

The first captive breeding of a Humboldt’s penguin at Dudley took place in 1991 with the successful hand rearing of Pingu and Peter. These animals have gone on to produce descendants over four generations in the case of Pingu and two generations in the case of Pete. Both of these birds were hand-reared. The following year new blood was added to the small penguin group at Dudley with the addition of new birds from Whipsnade and Penscynor. No chicks were reared in 1992 and only one in 1993 and two in 1994.

The next major breakthrough in husbandry came when in 1995/1996 birds were left with their parents and given supplementary feeds at the nest. In 1995 some eight chick were reared and in 1996 fourteen. By 1997 the young penguins were being completely parent reared and six chicks were hatched and reared that year. Many of these have gone on to produce descendants over several generations.

Birds from the Dudley collection have also gone on to help found further breeding pairs at some nine other collections under the auspices of the EEP.

Developed by:  Dudley Zoological Gardens

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