Oregon Zoo joins crowd-funding effort to save African penguins - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon Zoo joins crowd-funding effort to save African penguins

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A new “Invest in the Nest” campaign on Kickstarter seeks to raise $150,000 to help build artificial nest boxes for African penguins, which are threatened with extinction. Photo courtesy of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. A new “Invest in the Nest” campaign on Kickstarter seeks to raise $150,000 to help build artificial nest boxes for African penguins, which are threatened with extinction. Photo courtesy of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
(KPTV) -

The Oregon Zoo announced Wednesday its support for an international Kickstarter campaign to help African penguin populations.

According to the zoo, African penguins are in trouble due to commercial interest in guano for fertilizer.  This is a problem for the birds since they use guano to make their nests.

Because of the over-harvesting of guano, the zoo joined the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in the launch of “Invest in the Nest,” a Kickstarter campaign with the goal to raise $150,000. The funds donated will go towards the building and placement of 1,500 artificial nest boxes for penguins in South Africa and Namibia.

“We brought together scientists and engineers to help us design the best nest for African penguins,” said AZA president and CEO Dan Ashe. “Now we need the public’s help to build and place the nests in South Africa. ‘Invest in the Nest’ is an opportunity for anyone to help save a species.”

There are only about 25,000 breeding pairs of African penguins currently, the AZA states on the Kickstarter page.

“Invest in the Nest” donors will not only help the nest project but can also earn a variety of incentives. Kickstarter rewards for the campaign include a behind-the-scenes opportunity at the Oregon Zoo penguinarium, original artwork from the zoo’s Humboldt penguin colony, T-shirts, totes, posters and more.

Anyone interested in learning more about “Invest in the Nest” can visit the Kickstarter page set up by AZA.

As of Wednesday afternoon, more than $37,000 had been donated to the campaign. 

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