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Dyer Island seabirds in dire straits

The seabird population on Dyer Island is in dire straits

The area most severely impacted by the current outbreak of Avian Influenza in the Western Cape is Dyer Island.

A total of 13 195 birds, mostly Cape cormorants have died on Dyer Island. Several African penguins have also succumbed to the disease and a number of chicks have been orphaned.

We need your help. CapeNature, with the assistance of the two senior bird rehabilitators from the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary, have removed 75 at risk African penguin chicks from Dyer Island.

We need your help to care for these chicks. Due to the extra quarantine requirements and additional precautions the cost of rehabilitating these chicks have increased. In the past the APSS relied on donations from tourists and visitors to the sanctuary. We have now been impacted by two pandemics, one bringing the world to a standstill and one decimating our seabird population.

There are many things we cannot change but we can change the outcome for these penguin chicks. One small donation from you, one giant leap towards preventing the extinction of the African penguin. Please be our light at the end of the tunnel and contribute to our #PowerToThe Penguins fund.

An avian influenza outbreak amongst wild birds is a devastating wave that you unfortunately must ride out. There is no cure or intervention to treat affected birds. The best action is to lower the viral load in the environment by removing sick birds and carcasses from the environment.

CapeNature staff on Dyer Island is working around the clock to ensure that carcasses are removed as swiftly as possible. Slowly but surely the tide is turning. The number of carcasses removed has dropped from a high of over 500 per day to roughly 65 per day. We thank every CapeNature staff member who has been part of this effort. We salute you. It is a depressing task but without your efforts the outcome would be far worse.

environment, hope, africanpenguin, DyerIsland, SavetheAfricanpenguin, Africanpenguinandseabirdsanctuary


  1. Barbara Wood

    28 December 2021

  2. D Roe

    19 December 2021

  3. Anonymous donation

    13 December 2021

10 Donations