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South African Penguins

Join Earthwatch in South Africa to help protect a colony of African penguins on Robben Island.

Robben Island is a hotspot for seabird biodiversity, including endangered cape cormorants, bank cormorants, and 3,800 African penguins. It lies in the middle of major shipping lanes, and the risk of oil spills to local seabirds has been well documented. You can help a team of Earthwatch scientists monitor seabirds on the island and help reduce the impact of the various threats to this fragile environment.

Working with experienced researchers and staff, your team will participate in a variety of activities to monitor the health of this island environment. You’ll conduct population surveys on penguins and other seabirds to determine their breeding success and survival, monitor chick body condition as part of a globally-unique experiment into the impacts of local fishing, and perhaps even help deploy high-tech tracking technology to monitor penguins' behavior at sea.

Your research will bring you face-to-face with the problems seabirds face, such as predation by seals and competition with fisheries.

For more information or to book contact our office (03) 9016 7590 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Location: Robben Island, Cape Town, South Africa, Africa
  • Lead Scientist:

    Richard Sherley, Ph.D.

From $3,395 USD
Duration: 12 days