Why Are Galapagos Penguins Endangered?

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Galapagos Penguin Spheniscus mendiculus The IUCN Red List and the United States Endangered Species Act have classified this species as "Endangered" Why are the Galapagos Penguins Considered Endangered? Various factors, particularly climatic perturbations caused by the *El Niño and La Niña cycles which have effected consistency of their food supply, have caused the population to shrink dramatically over the last 34 years (3 generations) It has a small population. The penguin population is restricted to a very small range, with nearly all birds breeding at just one location. (Although the penguins are distributed amongst 19 islands, the main breeding range is confined to two islands called Fernandina and Isabela that occupy approximately 402 km of coastline, and is where 96% of all the nests are found (ADW Spheniscus mendiculus)). Causes for the decline of the Galapagos Penguin People's fishing activities in these regions. Fishing activities increased in 1982-83 and 1997-98, with the corresponding dramatic decrease of the penguins to 77 % and 65 %, respectively (Boersma 1998). Contamination from oil spills Predation by introduced cats (Felis catus) on the islands These cats produce parasites, such as Toxoplasma gondii, which has recently been found in Galapagos penguins (Deem et al. 2010). Mosquitoes (Culex quinquefasciatus) which are producers of avian malaria. Penguins are highly susceptible to this disease (Travis et al. 2006). Human disturbance that affects

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