South African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB)

South African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB)

Living Coasts supports SANCCOB, a conservation charity based in Cape Town, South Africa.

SANCCOB aims to conserve and protect South Africa's sea birds, especially threatened species, for the benefit of present and future generations. Its core functions are to rehabilitate ill, injured, oiled and orphaned sea birds on a routine basis and during major oil spills, raise awareness about conservation through environmental education and collaborate on research projects.

In the first 37 years since it was established, SANCCOB has treated more than 83,000 sea birds and recent research indicates that the African penguin population is 19% larger now than it would have been without the work of SANCCOB over those years.

Living Coasts raises funds to support SANCCOB and is collaborating with them to set up a captive breeding population of the bank cormorant in Europe. This endangered species is only found on the coasts of Namibia and South Africa and its numbers are declining very rapidly due to human disturbance, food shortages caused by commercial fishing of its main prey fish the Pacific goby and increased predation by kelp gulls which are thriving due to human activity.

Living Coasts is also supporting Project Penguin, a collaboration between SANCOBB, many zoos and other organisations, to research and potentially manipulate African penguin dispersal patterns to prevent vulnerability due to changes in distribution patterns of their major prey species.

Living Coasts staff have made a number of visits to SANCCOB over the years. Members of both the keeping team and education team have visited to find out first-hand about the great work done by SANCCOB. They have also gained practical experience by helping out with the capture of oil damaged penguins, rehabilitation; including feeding and cleaning and successful release back in to the wild.