Conservation Evidence strives to be as useful to conservationists as possible. Please take our survey to help the team improve our resource.

Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Hand-rearing and subsequent release of African penguin Spheniscus demersus chicks orphaned by an oil spill, Robben Island, Western Cape, South Africa

Published source details

Barham P.J., Underhill L.G., Crawford R.J.M., Altwegg R., Leshoro T.M., Bolton D.A., Dyer B.M. & Upfold L. (2008) The efficacy of hand-rearing penguin chicks: evidence from African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) orphaned in the Treasure oil spill in 2000. Bird Conservation International, 18, 144-152

This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Artificially incubate and hand-rear penguins in captivity Bird Conservation

A controlled and replicated study on Robben and Dassen Islands, South Africa (Barham et al. 2008), found that the survival to breeding age and breeding success of African penguins Spheniscus demersus during 2001-6 were similar for birds that were orphaned in the Treasure oil spill in 2000 and hand-reared, compared to birds that were not orphaned and hand-reared (1.6 chicks fledged/pair for 24 pairs with at least one hand-reared bird vs. 1.1 chicks fledged/pair for 227 pairs without hand-reared birds). The authors note that the sample size of hand-reared pairs was too small for statistical tests to determine significance.


Clean birds following oil spills Bird Conservation

A small study in South Africa (Barham et al. 2008) examined the survival and reproduction of hand-reared African penguins Spheniscus demersus orphaned after the Treasure oil spill in 2000. This is discussed in ‘Artificially incubate and hand-rear birds in captivity’.