55 Music Concourse Dr.
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco CA
Regular Hours:


9:30 am – 5:00 pm


11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Members' Hours:


8:30 – 9:30 am


10:00 – 11:00 am

Please note: The Academy will be closing at 3:00 pm on 10/24 (final entry at 2:00 pm). We apologize for any inconvenience.

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Live Penguin Cams 

August 24, 2010

African penguin Conservation: Predation at Mainland Colonies


The 25 Islands that African penguins breed on have likely been established because they are inaccessible to terrestrial mammalian predators. Because penguins must breed on the ground or in burrows on land, they are easy prey for many potential predators. Despite the danger, four mainland colonies have been established. In addition to the pressures of the penguins to live and breed successfully, the mainland breeding sites have many potential mammal predators: Leopards Panthera pardus, Large-spotted Genets Genetta tigrina, Small grey Mongoose Galerella pulverulenta, Water Mongoose Atilax paluinosus, Cape clawless Otter Aonyx capensis, Caracal Felis caracal and feral cats Felis catus. Some conservation measures have included fencing breeding grounds and elimination of feral cats.-Pamela Schaller

Filed under: CAS Penguin Colony — Penguins @ 2:27 pm

August 17, 2010

African penguin Conservation: Unusual Mortalities


There have been some unusual circumstances that have contributed to the mortality of some of the African penguin population. These circumstances have been verified: an underwater release of fish oil (similar in effect to crude oil spills), underwater blasting during harbor construction, entanglement in discarded fishing nest and lines, cloacal eversion and penguins being killed and used as bait in Rock Lobster traps. While each event may result in a small percentage of the total African penguin population, these events in addition to earlier discussed population impacts are regarded as detrimental. Even though the islands that African penguins breed on are managed to protect the species and determine their population stresses, these unusual circumstances may be some of the more difficult to predict.-Pamela Schaller

Filed under: CAS Penguin Colony — Penguins @ 1:48 pm

August 10, 2010

African penguin Conservation: Oil Spills


Over the last 40 years, the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) has cared for more than 50,000 seabirds. The majority of oiled seabirds are African penguins. This is mostly due their behavior of spending a large amount of time at the sea surface, catching prey by diving and feeding in the same waters as shipping lanes. Based on peer reviewed literature, South Africa is of special interest to studying the effects of oiled seabird cleansing. The country has the world’s most successful rehabilitation (proportion of birds known to have have survived at least one month post cleansing) and restoration (proportion of rehabilitated birds attempting to breed post cleansing) of oiled seabirds. The cost of de-oiling African penguins is proving to be one worthwhile conservation method for this species. Other methods includes preventing or reducing oils spills, rapidly evacuating birds from affected areas and determining sources of chronic oil spills.-Pamela Schaller

Filed under: CAS Penguin Colony — Penguins @ 1:15 pm