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African Penguin & Seabird Sanctuary Overberg, Kleinbaai

African Penguin & Seabird Sanctuary Overberg, Kleinbaai

The Dyer Island Conservation Trust funded the establishment of the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary (APSS), a first for the Overstrand area. APSS will provide temporary rehabilitative care to diseased, displaced, injured, oiled and abandoned marine birds with special focus on the endangered African Penguin.

The African Penguin & Seabird Sanctuary will assist the Dyer Island Conservation Trust in their objectives with regard to the survival of the African penguin as well as other seabirds. The facility will house an auditorium which will be used for environmental education. This would add to the social economy of the area by educating the local residents on the importance of the wildlife and the species in the area. The objective is to have a 100% release rate of penguins and seabirds close to their nearby colonies. Currently this has not been the case and our Dyer Island population has been declining dramatically.

It is imperative that we protect and nurture the very ecosystem which we all rely on for a living and to ensure a future of marine wildlife experiences for our children. Most importantly is the belief that ‘Every Life Counts’. This saying has been modified and used for the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary in our social media campaign #EveryBirdCounts.

The Dyer Island ecosystem is unique and fragile and it is our priority to ensure that the marine life in the area flourish and remain so for many years to come. Dyer Island is a 20 ha Nature Reserve, situated 8.5 km from Kleinbaai harbour in Gansbaai. It is the easternmost of the chain of seabird islands of the Western Cape. Some of the birds breeding on the island include the vulnerable African Penguin, the endangered Bank Cormorant and the Roseate Tern.

The area is also world renowned as a hot spot for the great white shark with thousands of tourists visiting the area. It is our job to ensure that they become ambassadors of this specie by educating them on this slow breeding apex predator that faces many threats from finning to poaching of their jaws. The work is in progress - sometimes it is difficult but it is always rewarding. The great white shark together with the endangered African Penguin is part of the Marine Big Five™. Other marine species include the Cape fur seal, Southern right whale and the Cape common dolphin, all of which could be viewed in the Gansbaai area.

Marine Dynamics Tours is interdependent of Dyer Island Cruises whale tours and the Great White House. The latter acts as a base for the operations providing a restaurant, curio shop and accommodation for clients. The company offers a five star experience at a rate that allows reinvestment into the company and support of conservation initiatives such as Marine Wildlife conservation and research.

Dyer Island Conservation Trust Phone: +27 (0)82 9075607 Email: office@dict.org.za

 

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