Artist: Jemma Pearson Medium: bronze Height: 11 cm Base: 8 x 17 cm Patina: Traditional Brown
Limited Edition of 50
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The Galápagos Penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus) is endemic to the Galápagos Islands is the only penguin that lives north of the equator in the wild. It only survives due to the cool temperatures resulting from the Humboldt Current and cool waters from great depths brought up by the Cromwell Current which together provide rich feeding grounds of small schooling fish, mainly mullet and sardines, and sometimes crustaceans. For this reason the Galápagos Penguins stay in the archipelago. The species is endangered, with an estimated population size of around 1,500 individuals in 2004, according to a survey by the Charles Darwin Research Station. The population underwent an alarming decline of over 70% in the 1980s due to El Nino events bringing warmer currents to the Galápagos, but is slowly recovering. It is however the rarest penguin species. On land the penguins are preyed upon by crabs, snakes, owls, and hawks, and while in the water they are preyed upon by sharks, fur seals, and sea lions. In addition they face many hazards due to human activities such as interrupting nests and getting caught in fishing nets, as well as the challenges of unreliable food resources and volcanic activity.