African Penguins in Simon's Town, South Africa. Photo credit: Stacy Johnson
Penguins International is a non-profit organization committed to preserving and protecting penguins throughout the world.
To accomplish our mission, we actively engage in penguin conservation, educate the public on threats to penguins, and conduct scientific research investigations; three activities that go hand-in-hand to fully understand these amazing species of birds and protect them for all to cherish.

March of the Penguin Madness Update


This year’s 2023 Penguins International’s March of the Penguin Madness Competition had 32 penguins competing, totaling 10 penguin species, representing 28 zoos and aquariums from all around the world! 

After a month-long competition, we have our #MarchofthePenguinMadness Peng Win Championship contenders: Mai the African Penguin from Hyatt Regency Maui and Spike the King Penguin from Birdland Park and Gardens. Congratulations Mai and Spike for getting to this championship game! 

Voting for this last round will take place starting Sunday, April 16 until Tuesday, April 18 on our website, Instagram story polls, and Facebook post reactions. 

Learn more about the March of the Penguin Madness contenders.

World Penguin Day
April 25th is a day to bring awareness to the various penguin species around the world, and the troubles they face for their survival in an ever-changing environment. There are eighteen penguin species, and all vary in size and location throughout the Southern hemisphere. The smallest being the Little Blue Penguin (13 inches/33cm tall), found in New Zealand, and the largest being the Emperor Penguin (up to 4ft/122cm tall), found in Antarctica.

One thing all species have in common is threats to their environment. Warming ocean temperatures, access to quality food sources, and contamination are all perils each species faces every day. But there are simple steps you can take at home to help penguins and other wildlife starting today! Reduce your use of single use plastic, choose sustainable seafood and support penguin conservation efforts.

Join Penguins International for a celebration of penguins, and of course the announcement of this year’s featured penguin species! Find out who our Scientist Spotlight is for 2023 and hear about how YOU can help penguins by following us on social media. Stay tuned for Part 2 of our White Gold Documentary!
We are thrilled to kickoff The Penguin Pedal 2023 on World Penguin Day! This virtual biking event encourages individuals to ditch their cars and ride their bikes to reduce CO2 and support penguin conservation! If cycling isn’t your thing, no problem- join in the Waddle and walk or run to save a species. This virtual event means you can participate from any part of the world! Race registration opens on April 25th, 2023. Sign up and learn more about the Penguin Pedal.
Did you know that the Ocean covers 70% of the Earth and produces 50% of the world's oxygen? It supports all life on this planet, yet it is in need of help. That is why World Ocean Day is celebrated annually on June 8. We love the ocean that penguins call home. Join us for this year’s #PickUp4Penguins by cleaning up your community to reduce marine debris and support penguin conservation! Tag @PenguinsIntl on Facebook and Twitter or
@Penguins_international on Instagram. We are keen to see how much garbage you’re able to remove from nature to support our beautiful planet.

Visit the World Ocean Day website to find out more!
From the Field
Dunedin Wildlife Hospital in New Zealand Celebrates First Captive Hatch
By Jordana Whyte, Manager of The Wildlife Hospital Trust

The Dunedin Wildlife Hospital, along with its conservation partners, are celebrating an achievement that may be a game changer for the hoiho/Yellow-eyed Penguin: the first captive hatching of eggs and subsequent return of chicks to wild nests. A penguin endemic to New Zealand, the hoiho is rare and struggling to maintain its mainland population in the face of a raft of threats.

Each November, the Wildlife Hospital braces itself for an influx of days-old chicks, many of whom have contracted avian diphtheria, brought in by conservation partner field teams, who hold parents on nests with dummy eggs while their chicks are treated in hospital. In most cases, the vet team is able to successfully treat the chicks in a few days, and rangers return them to their natal nests. In some cases, foster nests are used, which has been a successful approach.

Not all mainland breeding sites are created equal. Some are remote, difficult to access, and are full of challenges like steep cliffs, native stinging nettle and thick bush. One Dunedin breeding area is on a near off-shore island, with access extremely limited, and health and safety concerns of monitoring penguin nests leaving Department of Conservation and Ngāi Tahu decision makers looking for an alternative solution to improving outcomes for hoiho, which number fewer than 200 breeding pairs on the mainland.

With parrot hatching and hoiho hand-rearing experience under their belts, the team at the Dunedin Wildlife Hospital was ready and willing to attempt doing the same with these precious eggs. While hoiho hadn’t been hatched in captivity before, all parties were in agreement it was worth trying with a careful and informed approach, particularly with the chicks unlikely to survive without intervention. This also presented a unique opportunity for insight into the development of avian diphtheria, which is nearly always fatal in young chicks if left untreated.

The Hospital borrowed a large incubator from the Royal Albatross Centre, and a hatcher unit from the Kākāpō Recovery team, making this a multi-species effort. Nine eggs arrived at the Hospital, with eight deemed fertile after careful candling.

An anxious watch-and-wait period followed, particularly when the first egg began to pip. A collective sigh of relief could be heard through the wards when a tiny chick finally emerged, looking healthy and peeping like a champ. Another seven chicks followed in subsequent days, ensuring that the already hatched chick had the company of others, which is crucial in preventing habituation during their stay in hospital.

First successful captive hatch of a Yellow-eyed Penguin at the Dunedin Wildlife Hospital.
With all eight fertile eggs successfully hatched, Wildlife Hospital staff kept them separated from other wild-hatched hoiho, and hand-reared them until deemed past the riskiest period for disease. Department of Conservation staff kept running lists of foster nests so that chicks could be placed as soon as they were discharged. All chicks were monitored closely once in nests to ensure they were fully accepted by foster parents and were developing along a normal trajectory.

This hatching trial has been incredibly rewarding, and exciting to see succeed. While Wildlife Hospital staff firmly believe ‘the nest is best’ when it comes to chick development, there is work to be done in the field to ensure those nests are set up for success. Until that time, captive hatching and minimal hand-rearing is another viable tool in the kit to help the Yellow-eyed Penguin population on the mainland.

Listen to the interview with Dr. Argilla, the Hospital Director, discussing the event.
Penguin Hero Challenge
Penguins International has been working with African Penguin SAFE to launch a Sustainable Seafood Challenge. Will you skip the squid, select sustainable tuna, or celebrate seafood-free Saturdays? Click the image below to make your selection!
Penguins International is also participating in Not On Our Watch. Join us in helping African Penguins.
Zoo News
New Penguins at the Houston Zoo
By Linsey Whitehead, Senior Director, Marketing and Sales at Houston Zoo

The Houston Zoo is now home to Humboldt Penguins, a first for the Zoo. The 10 new penguins are part of the new Galápagos Islands exhibit that opened on April 7, and the Zoo has plans to receive 5 more penguins at the end of April. Galápagos Penguins are the most endangered penguin species with an estimated population of less than 2,000. The Houston Zoo exhibits Humboldt Penguins to represent their endangered relatives. Humboldt Penguins
originate from the coastal areas of Chile and Peru where temperatures can reach 100°F and are an ideal fit for Houston’s climate, although their exhibit is also climate-controlled to maintain optimum temperatures.
Learn more about the Houston Zoo’s penguins and the new Galápagos Islands exhibit.
Waddle You Do For Penguins?
Click the images above and/or button below to learn more!
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Deadlines: March 31, June 30, September 31, December 31
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