Skip to Main Contents

Cape Penguin

Papercraft kit : The Cape Penguin, which inhabits the southern tip of Africa.

Rare Animals of the World

Return to index

The Cape penguin, characterized by its black beak and legs, inhabits mainly the Cape region of the southernmost part of Africa. The creature is classified as “Endangered [EN]” in the Red List.

Assembly instructions for the Paper Craft Model of the Cape penguin, which inhabits only Africa, may be downloaded from this web site. A photo image of a completed model may be downloaded as well.

Download - Parts sheet & InstructionsThis data was released in January, 2002.

Cape Penguin - Animal Guide

  • Cape Penguin - Pelecanidae
  • Spheniscus demersus
  • Length: 2 - 2.5m / Weight: 420 - 500kg (male), 150 - 300kg (female)
  • 2016 Edition of the RED LIST categories : Endangered [EN]

The Cape penguin is also called "black-footed penguin," due to its black feet. The species, like other penguin species, has a black-and-white colored body. Its front is white with a black stripe extending from both hips to the breast. The species is also characterized by its pinkish patch above its eyes.
The Cape penguin builds a nest in craggy places or rock crevices of islands and mainland coastal areas. The penguin lives in a group formed with other families. The Cape penguin can breed throughout the year, but the species has two seasons, March through July and November through January, as its peak time for laying two eggs at a time. The chick leaves its parents' nest approximately three months after hatching and grows the same pattern of plumage as its parents' within a year. Unlike the male Ad_lie penguin and rockhopper penguin that raise their chicks while fasting for a month or two, the Cape penguin couple takes turns every day or two feeding the chicks with fish, allowing each parent a time to eat. The species feeds mainly on sardines, anchovies and gobies that can be found in the nearby sea.
The Cape penguin can dive for a longer time than any other penguin species except for the emperor penguin, which has a record of 18 minutes. The Cape penguin can actually dive for 2.5 minutes on the average, reaching a depth of more than 100 meters. Other species can dive for 0.5 to 1.5 minutes.

Habitat

The Cape penguin is so named because it inhabits mainly the Cape region of the southernmost part of Africa. The species is also known as the “African penguin” and the “jackass penguin” as well as the “black-footed penguin”. In the beginning of the 20th century, there were many more than 1 million individuals. However, the total population of the species radically decreased to 145,000 in 1956 and 70,000 in 1972.
This drastic population collapse has been a result of egg poaching, reduction of its food supply due to commercial fishing, and large-scale removal of its breeding spots, guano (which is the accumulated droppings of coastal birds and is often used by man as a very effective fertilizer). More seriously, amounts of crude oil that have leaked out of oil tankers passing by the Cape have contaminated the species' habitat, actually killing a large number of penguins. There are also a number of cases where penguins have been drowned by getting trapped in fishermen’s nets. The species has been officially under the protection of the “South Africa Seabird and Seal Act” enforced in 1973. Some people still continue to poach for its eggs, while others help to save oil-soaked penguins.
According to a recent survey, the Cape penguin currently numbers approximately 180,000 birds.

Habitat range: Mainly the Cape region of the southernmost part of Africa.

About Red List

The Red List is the material prepared by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) classifying various threatened wild animals of the world and reporting their present habitat status.

The List evaluates the extinction risk level of each individual species from a biological viewpoint, but it possesses no legal power to enforce regulations concerning threatened species. The Red List is broadly employed as fundamental information in advancing the preservation of threatened wild animals.

Referring to the original Red List, the Environment Agency of Japan has compiled the Japanese edition of the List listing threatened taxa inhabiting Japan.

2016 Edition of the RED LIST CATEGORIES and classified as follows:
Extinct EX No known individuals remaining.
Extinct in the Wild EW Known only to survive in captivity, or as a naturalized population outside its historic range.
Critically Endangered CR Extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.
Endangered EN High risk of extinction in the wild.
Vulnerable VU High risk of endangerment in the wild.
Near Threatened NT Likely to become endangered in the near future.
Least Concern LC Lowest risk. Does not qualify for a more at-risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category.
Data Deficient DD Not enough data to make an assessment of its risk of extinction.
Back to
Top