Friday, April 18, 2008

Falkland Islands King Penguin colony increasing

Osmund Smith was a 28 year old shepherd in 1948 when he saw the first pair of King penguins step ashore at Volunteer Point, 30 miles north east of Port Stanley, in the Falkland Islands. Little did he realize then, that 60 years on, in 2008, he would be reaping the benefits of their descendants and making thousands of pounds annually from their presence on the land which he now owns.

The penguin population at Volunteer Point today numbers 2,000. Build-up has been slow and laborious because initially very little protection from human interference was taken.

The Falklands king penguin colony is the most northern in the world and the most accessible. As many as 3,000 people visit Volunteer Point during the season which runs from November until the end of March. An increase in the number of large cruise vessels visiting the Falklands, several of which stay all day in the Islands, allows as many as 120 tourists to take the two and half hours drive across to the king penguin colony. It is not unexpected to see a convoy of 30-40 vehicles making their way over the grass track terrain to Volunteer Point when a cruise vessel visits Stanley.

Mr. Smith charges 15 pounds ($30) for each visitor to the KING penguin colony, and this generates a tidy turnover of around 40,000 pounds annually.

Source: MercoPress


Anonymous said...

Thought you might like to see lots more pics of penguins at my picassa pages.


FUNNY PETS said...

Thanks, Alan. These are excellent photos.