Wednesday, September 6, 2017

No Kicking Penguins

While avoiding unnecessary human contact, and attempting to determine the minimal effort necessary to clean out the garage, I came across penguin sweaters. 
Penguin sweater. Aztec print. Neon blue and orange. 25 dollars at Ugly Christmas Sweater Sale. No Kicking Penguins and other penguin stories. marchmatron.com
Penguin sweater. Aztec print. $25 at Ugly Christmas Sweater Sale.
Not that kind. 
Two Little Blue Fairy Penguin dressed in a tiny orange sweater and a tiny lime green sweater. No Kicking Penguins and other penguin stories. marchmatron.com
Two Little Penguins, aka Fairy Penguins, aka Blue Penguins, wearing tiny sweaters.
This kind.
Fairy Penguin wearing a little sweater after an oil spill. No Kicking Penguins and other penguin stories. marchmatron.com
Fairy Penguin waiting to be released after an oil spill. 
What's not to love?
A waddle Fairy Penguins on Phillip Island, Australia. No Kicking Penguins and other penguin stories. marchmatron.com
A group of penguins in the water is called a raft. A group of penguins on land is called a waddle, rookery, colony, or huddle.
First, they are penguins and not just any penguins.

Fairy Penguin chick stretching his flippers. No Kicking Penguins and other penguin stories. marchmatron.com
A penguin that has names like Blue, Fairy, and Little is automatically endearing.
They are tiny, miniature, fit in your pocket and carry one around, penguins. 
Fairy Penguin waddling on sand and wearing a tiny red sweater. No Kicking Penguins and other penguin stories. marchmatron.com
Phillip Island is home to an estimated 32,000 Little Blue Penguins and it attracts half a million visitors annually. 
Second, tiny sweaters.  
Two bits of adorable combined.    
Adorable little penguin in a fuzzy pink hoodie. No Kicking Penguins and other penguin stories. marchmatron.com
A fuzzy pink hoodie is probably more fashion than function. 
And third, unlike dressing Chihuahuas in ballet tutus and accessories, it's for a good reason. 
Fairy Penguin from 2001 oil spill by Phillip Island, wearing a green sweater. No Kicking Penguins and other penguin stories. marchmatron.com
After a 2001 oil spill, the Penguin Foundation was able to rescue the hundreds of Little Penguins impacted by the disaster.
The petroleum clumps the penguins' feathers, hinders swimming, and they lose ability to regulate temperature. The little birds also swallow it when they try to preen their feathers.
109-year-old Australian, Alfred “Alfie” Date, was one of the devoted penguin sweater knitters.
109-year-old Australian, Alfred “Alfie” Date, demonstrating how he knits tiny sweaters for penguins, 2015. No Kicking Penguins and other stories about penguins. marchmatron.com
Alfred "Alfie" Date (8 November 1905 to 2 May 2016), the oldest Australian.
With Alfie's help, the foundation is no longer in need of sweaters, but they have several other options for helping the penguins.
Shell oil parody ad Dance like no one's watching. Drill like there's no tomorrow. No Kicking Penguins and other stories about penguins. marchmatron.com
Greenpeace parodies Shell Oil with 'Arctic Ready' advertisements. 
Because Alfie is not around to watch out for the little guys, no doubt big oil can be trusted to minimize oil exposure and responsibly manage the coastlines.
An oiled little blue penguin, also known as the fairy penguin, in a rescue center. 2011. No Kicking Penguins and other stories about penguins. marchmatron.com
An oiled Fairy Penguin, in a New Zealand rescue center, 2011
However, like most adorable and happy things, penguin sweaters turn out to not be so great. In 2011, MV Rena, a grounded container ship, spilled 350 tons of oil in the Bay of Plenty. Thousands of New Zealand's seabirds were killed.
The container ship Rena leans precariously to one side after hitting a reef and stranding itself, 2011  Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
Container ship Rena leans precariously to one side after hitting a reef.
The executive director of the International Bird Rescue explained the problem with penguin sweaters. 
It’s common to see skin burns and irritation on birds that have heavy oil on their feathers. The last thing we want to do is to put something over their feathers that causes the oil to be pressed against their skin.
To help the birds stay warm and limit the amount of preening, we only have to do one thing — house birds in a warm, ventilated area. 
Any handling or wearing of anything foreign to them contributes to the penguins’ stress. Reducing stress is our biggest challenge in an oil spill. Sweaters can be cumbersome and require a secure fit to ensure that the bird will not become entangled. 
Fairy Penguin rescued from the Rena oil spill in 2011. No Kicking Penguins and other stories about penguins. marchmatron.com
Little Blue Penguin rescued from the Rena oil spill. 
In every oil spill where we have cared for penguins, International Bird Rescue has had at least an 80% release rate, and none of these birds wore sweaters.
Our colleagues from around the world agree that penguin sweaters are adorable and offer an avenue for concerned people to contribute, but they are not considered a useful tool for the rehabilitation of oiled birds, primarily penguins.
Tiny Blue plush Penguins with adorable little sweaters.No Kicking Penguins and other stories about penguins. marchmatron.com
Well, that isn't nearly as fantastic for the knitters or appreciators of penguin jumpers. Although foundations have been able to increase awareness with cute penguin photos and have some benefit from the sale of plush penguins wearing excess sweaters.   
Know your penguins identification chart. Cute cartoons comparing types of penguin. No Kicking Penguins and other stories about penguins. marchmatron.com
Oil spills haven't been the only penguin extinction threat. New Zealand is home to one-third of the world’s penguins including six of the world's 18 penguin species.
Please don't touch me. A guide to not touching me. Penguin books. No Kicking Penguins and other stories about penguins. marchmatron.com
In the early 1900s, Joseph Hatch, a New Zealand entrepreneur was responsible for killing over 3 million penguins. He rendered their blubber and sold the resulting penguin oil . . . which makes him a horrible person. 
Photo of European Red Foxes, an introduced species that have have had disastrous consequences to the Australian ecosystem. No Kicking Penguins and other stories about penguins. marchmatron.com
European Red Fox in Australia
European Red Foxes, an introduced species that, SURPRISE!, have had disastrous consequences to the Australian ecosystem, nearly eradicated an entire colony of Little Blue Penguins on Middle Island. 
Little Blue Penguins on Middle Island in Australia. The colony was almost wiped out by foxes. No Kicking Penguins and other stories about penguins. marchmatron.com
Little Blue Penguins on Middle Island in Australia. 
According to the Penguin Preservation Project, in 2005, "We went from a point where we had around 800 penguins down to where we could only find four."
Promotional poster for Hatch or The Plight of the Penguins, a 2009 play by the Auckland Theatre Company about Joseph Hatch No Kicking Penguins and other stories about penguins. marchmatron.com
Promotional poster for Hatch or The Plight of the Penguins, a 2009 play by the Auckland Theatre Company.
Had Joseph Hatch been around, he may have attempted to annihilate the foxes . . . before rendering the rest of the penguin inhabitants to turn into oil.
Maremma sheepdog, Odball, meeting a Little Blue Penguin on Middle Island.No Kicking Penguins and other stories about penguins. marchmatron.com
A Maremma sheepdog meets a Little Blue Penguin on Middle Island. The movie Oddball and the Penguin is the story of the first Maremma to guard the birds. 
Eventually, Maremma sheepdogs were trained to live on the island, and protect the colony.
Close up photo of Maremma sheepdog sniffing a Little Blue Penguin chick on Middle Island. No Kicking Penguins and other stories about penguins. marchmatron.com
A Maremma sheepdog hanging out with a Little Blue Penguin chick. 
Humans don't live on the island and it is the first time dogs, living independently, guard an indigenous species.
No kicking penguins drawing by Seven-year-old Colby. Stick figure with extended leg and penguin in a circle slash. No Kicking Penguins and other stories about penguins. marchmatron.com
"No Kicking Penguins" by seven-year-old Colby
Do not disturb the penguins.
The "No Kicking Penguins" sign was drawn by a seven-year-old after his mom kicked a blowup penguin to move it out of the hallway.
 A penguin checking out researchers setting up equipment in Antartica. No Kicking Penguins and other stories about penguins. marchmatron.com
A curious penguin . . . 
Humans in Antarctica is a recent phenomenon and the ingenious penguin population hasn't evolved the stay away from potential land predators gene.
Researchers setting up equipment in Antartica say hello to a curious penguin. No Kicking Penguins and other stories about penguins. marchmatron.com
and an amused research group. 
They tend to waddle around, rummage through equipment, and hang out underfoot.
 A little penguin charges a researcher trying to make friends. No Kicking Penguins and other stories about penguins. marchmatron.com
There are penalties under U.S. law and the Antarctic Treaty against disturbing penguins. Antarctica adopted the illustration after it was posted on Reddit.
Elephant wearing pants with a belt and bandana in the pocket. No Kicking Penguins and other stories about penguins. marchmatron.com

Now let's talk about elephants in pants. . .

#penguin #OilSpill #Environment 
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Other stories of Penguins:

www.marchmatron.com/2017/09/indifferent-penguin.html
Indifferent Penguin

www.marchmatron.com/2017/06/the-zoo-houdinis.html
The Zoo Houdinis

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