Galapagos penguins are the smallest of South America’s penguins and prefer to dwell off the rocky coastal ocean areas. Galapagos penguins are endangered primarily from the destruction of suitable habitat due to natural weather, human disturbance, predators, and accidental entanglement in fishing nets.
Predators – humans, seals, sharks and sealions – have been a factor in the decline of the Galapagos penguin population, the rarest in the world. But an even larger factor is El Nino. When the water is warmed by the El Nino Oscillation, less food (fish) are available for the penguins and so they can starve.
With only 3,000 to 8,000 Galapagos Penguins alive, according to the World Conservation Union, the creatures are under threat due to several factors. Sharsk, fur seals, and sea lions are known to prey upon them and there are estimated to be only 800 breeding couples in existence. Overheating, starvation, and predation caused by human introduced species are also contributing to their demise.
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