Despite all the love they get, not many people are aware of the looming threat of extinction that penguins face. Hence, we celebrate Penguin Awareness Day each year on January 20 to generate publicity for this cause.
Since these birds depend on the oceans for survival, human marine activities affect them greatly.
Penguins typically dive underwater to hunt small fish for food. But these birds can’t find enough to eat, as we’re overfishing their waters.
Penguins also sometimes encounter unexpected underwater dangers, like fishing nets, that severely injure them. Toxins and pollutants that humans dump in the ocean, including oil spills, can affect their health as well.
Another major reason penguin populations are dropping is that global temperatures keep rising, melting the Antarctic sea ice. Warmer temperatures affect the quality of eggs and lower their chances of hatching into healthy chicks.
If you want to save everyone’s favorite flightless birds, keep reading. In the following sections, you’ll learn how you can help by celebrating Penguin Awareness Day.
The History of Penguin Awareness Day
Sadly, we couldn’t track the exact year Penguin Awareness Day celebrations began. But the most important thing is that it was already an annual celebration by the late 2000s.
In its early years, there was some confusion about the proper date. Depending on who you asked, the date for Penguin Awareness Day varied anywhere from the 13th to the 20th of January.
Over time, January 20 became the universally accepted date.
On Penguin Awareness Day in 2006, The Penguin Foundation was formed. Since its establishment, the foundation has worked tirelessly with generous donations from the public to preserve the penguin’s natural home.
The popularity of Penguin Awareness Day celebrations grew over time as more organizations joined in.
Today, the movement has gained a prominent social media presence, giving more people a chance to join in saving the penguins.
How to celebrate Penguin Awareness Day
Speak up for the penguins.
Penguin Awareness Day is a great time to lend your voice to the penguin conservation cause. You can sign petitions, join marches, or share educational materials.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to perform a grand gesture to advocate for penguins. Simply speaking with family, friends, or colleagues is enough. Consider donating to penguin protection charities as well.
Visit the zoo.
Many zoos host exhibitions on Penguin Awareness Day so you can learn about these flightless birds and their lifestyle.
Plus, you get to have fun watching adorable penguins if your local zoo has some.
Watch a penguin movie.
If you’re not in the mood to leave home, you can join the festivities by settling down with a penguin movie.
Check out something new or rewatch classic animated films like Happy Feet, Surf’s Up, or Madagascar. Documentaries like March of the Penguins are also great on this day.
Penguin Awareness Day FAQ
Is Penguin Awareness Day the same as World Penguin Day?
Almost, but not quite. Penguin Awareness Day is celebrated on January 20, while April 25 is World Penguin Day. However, both days are dedicated to learning about these beautiful birds and saving them from extinction.
How can kids celebrate Penguin Awareness Day?
Kids can join in Penguin Awareness Day celebrations by learning all about penguins! Many zoos organize fun activities and shows just for kids. You can also see a movie together or try making some penguin crafts at home.
Can you participate in Penguin Awareness Day if you don’t live near penguin habitats?
Connecting to events or supporting penguin research online is always available for those living far from penguins. You can also send donations from anywhere in the world!
5 Facts About Penguins
Unlike most birds, penguins have dense bones that allow them to dive underwater easily. Their paddle-shaped wings help them steer so it looks like they’re gliding through the water.
Penguins are monogamous, but their unions may end in divorce. As many as 70% of the mating pairs ultimately go their separate ways.
A human swimming, even at the level of the Olympics, is no match for a penguin underwater. The Gentoo penguin is the fastest and can hit 22 miles/hour (36 kilometers/hour) while swimming.
Major General Sir Nils Olav III is a king penguin with an official military rank and bestowed with a knighthood.
The oldest penguin fossils were found around the Waipara River in New Zealand and were estimated to be about 62 million years old.
Penguins are in danger of extinction thanks to changes in climate and human activities like overfishing. Fortunately, it’s not too late, and by celebrating Penguin Awareness Day, you could help save them.
Spend today educating yourself and others on the importance of these feathered friends and what can be done to help protect them.
You could also lend your voice to a cause, organize a rally, or even donate to a penguin conservation charity.
Whatever you do, please think of the penguins!