It's one of our favorite occasions: each year, penguin lovers from around the globe celebrate World Penguin Day on April 25th! It's a fantastic opportunity to learn more about penguin facts, how to protect their fragile environments, and the unique characteristics of the various penguin species in Antarctica, the sub-Antarctic regions, and the Galapagos Islands.
Whether you've interacted with penguins up close on an Antarctic cruise or simply admired them from afar, how will you celebrate World Penguin Day?
How did World Penguin Day originate?
This special day is not to be confused with Penguin Awareness Day, which took place this year on January 20th. World Penguin Day is similar, in that it's designed to raise awareness of the challenges penguins face in their natural habitats, and how we can help protect them. According to the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, World Penguin Day began on Antarctica when McMurdo research stations scientists made an amazing discovery regarding a colony of Adélie penguins.
A representative of the foundation wrote, “The scientists and researchers there noticed that every year on April 25, a colony of Adélies returned from spending months at sea. They returned to the same spot, on the same day, every year. This seemed too incredible a coincidence…and it wasn't! This is the normal migrating pattern of these penguins.”
After observing this behavior for several years, the scientists looked forward to the penguins return and began planning a celebration to mark the occasion!
Celebrating World Penguin Day:
How can you make this year's occasion a special one?
- Brush up on fun penguin facts with your friends, colleagues or classmates.
- Join PenguinWatch and help researchers tag and count penguins in still images from cameras across Antarctica.
- Take an Antarctic cruise to see penguins in their natural, icy habitat. Quark's onboard charity auctions raise funds for important initiatives like Penguin Lifelines, and raise an average of $150,000 per season!
- Challenge your friends to the PEW Charitable Trust World Penguin Day quiz. Test your knowledge of penguin facts to see how much you really know about the world's 18 penguin species.
- Help preserve and protect penguin populations. Sign the Antarctic Ocean Alliance petition to protect the wild Southern Ocean, an important habitat for penguin and many other species.
To learn more about how you might be able to interact with penguins and learn more about this incredible species on an Antarctic guided tour, contact an experienced Polar Travel Adviser to discuss.
Photos courtesy of Chris Keir.