Investigating the Breeding Success of Captive African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) at Langkawi Island, Peninsular Malaysia

On the south-western coast of Africa, the African penguin (Spheniscus demersus), historically known as the Black-footed penguin or as the Jackass penguin, is located. The key objectives of this research are to assess the success and survival rates of hatching among the species at Underwater World Langkawi, Malaysia (UWL). In order to raise their numbers, especially the penguin in injury or suffering, it may be important for the penguins to remain in captivity to breed. In captivity, the penguins seem very well adjusted. The success of the breeding was measured on the basis of the number of eggs produced in a specific season and the productivity, hatchability and survival rate of the chicks between 2006 and 2011. The results show that productivity declined steadily between 2006 and 2008 and then again increased to full productivity in 2010. In August, successful breeding begins and reaches its peak in October. The total length of the African penguin’s brooding time is 38 days, then. Compared to hatched chicks, there was a high proportion of not-hatched. The highest percentage (83.33 percent) of chick survival occurred in 2011, with five out of six surviving chicks. However, there was a high mortality percentage rate (66.67 percent) during 2010, with four out of six chicks dying. Overall, 16 chicks died, while 27 chicks survived during the research at UWL. Then, the whole juvenile had fled. In addition, the African penguin has been breeding all year long. Some problems were found in UWL, however, which caused many eggs not to hatch; infertile and cracked eggs and disturbed nests were included in these problems. Finally, more studies should be carried out to clarify the effect of confined conditions on the breeding success of penguins.

Author(s) Details

Mohd Hairul Bin Mohd Salleh
Royal Malaysian Customs Department, Putrajaya, Malaysia and Department of Aquaculture, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43000 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia.

Prof. Dr. Shukor Bin Md. Nor
Biology Building, Department of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia.

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