Project Pinnamin: Conserving Northern rockhopper penguins on Tristan da Cunha
Listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, the majority of northern rockhopper penguins are found on Gough Island and islands in the Tristan da Cunha group. Approximately two million pairs (or 98%) of penguins were lost from Gough Island between 1955 and 2006, and numbers on Tristan da Cunha are thought to have declined from the hundreds of thousands in the 1870s to just 5,000 pairs by 1955.
Project Pinnamin – a collaboration between RZSS, the British Antarctic Survey, RSPB, Tristan Conservation and the Government of South Africa – will lead to improved understanding of factors limiting the northern rockhopper penguin population on Tristan da Cunha and will facilitate the implementation of appropriate conservation measures. Experimental studies will enable us to design a sustainable harvest of penguin eggs that may allow continuation of a cultural tradition.
Our role in the project is public dissemination and engagement, including the population living on Tristan. At the end of the project period we will be facilitating the conservation action planning process, securing a long-term future for the species on these islands.