Here’s a wild fellow in a tuxedo truly worth celebrating this Friday: the penguin! January 20 is Penguin Awareness Day, and I plan on doing what I can to honor, protect and spread awareness about how we can help these sweet little seabirds.
hope everyone is ready for friday, which is PENGUIN AWARENESS DAY pic.twitter.com/64PpYTvAzY
— casey morell (@csymrl) January 17, 2017
They need our help. Penguins worldwide—from Antarctica, Argentina, Australia and Chile to New Zealand, South Africa and the Galapagos Islands—are facing some serious threats, including:
- Rising temperatures due to climate change, which translates to a loss of sea ice. Emperor penguins and adelie penguins of Antarctica are especially vulnerable. According to this article in Stuff, “[These] two species of penguin could not survive without the skirt of sea ice that forms around Antarctica each winter.” To learn more about climate change, check out this Q&A with a penguin scientist.
- Habitat destruction from humans (construction, oil spills, pesticides and the like)
- Illegal egg harvesting
- Industrial fishing
— Antarctic Division (@AusAntarctic) January 6, 2017
To celebrate this Friday, you can spread the word on Twitter and Facebook (use hashtag #PenguinAwarenessDay), educate the kids in your life about penguins, or even donate to a charity dedicated to saving penguins (here are just a few):
- Penguin Foundation (Australia)
- The PEW Charitable Trusts
- SANCCOB (South Africa)
- Penguin Rescue (New Zealand)
- Galapagos Conservancy
— Tim Huijsmans (@HuijsmansTim) January 6, 2017
If you’re feeling extra creative, how about…
- Baking some penguin cupcakes
— Faye Mawer (@FSMawer) January 14, 2017
- Delivering stuffed penguins to the local children’s hospital
- Dressing the part in a cute penguin sweater
- Curling up with a good movie—Happy Feet and March of the Penguins are classics not to be missed. But definitely mark your calendars for February 7—that’s when feel-good movie “Oddball” releases on Amazon and Netflix. It’s based on the true story of how a very special dog saved a population of fairy penguins from extinction by foxes on a small island off the coast of Australia.
However you decide to celebrate, from me to you, happy Penguin Awareness Day!
— Biosphere Env Ed (@biosphere_ed) January 7, 2017