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Jackass Penguin Spheniscus demersus

IUCN Red List Criteria

Critically Endangered  
Endangered A2ace+3ce+4ace 
Vulnerable A2ace+3ce+4ace 

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2013 Endangered
2012 Endangered
2010 Endangered
2008 Vulnerable
2005 Vulnerable
2004 Vulnerable
2000 Vulnerable
1994 Lower Risk/Near Threatened
1988 Threatened

Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type continent
Average mass -

Distribution

  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 9,400 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 120,000 medium
Number of locations 27 -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 52000 good Estimated 2009
Population trend Decreasing good -
Number of subpopulations 1 - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 9.3 - - -
Population justification: The Namibian population was estimated at c.5,000 breeding pairs in 2008, and the South African population at c.21,000 breeding pairs in 2009 (R. Crawford in litt. 2010), thus, the figure used here is 52,000 mature individuals, roughly equating to 75,000-80,000 individuals in total.
Trend justification: The population in Namibia has declined from 12,162 pairs in 1978 to an estimated 4,563 pairs in 2008. Furthermore, the South African population has declined from an estimated 56,900 pairs in 1979 to 20,699 pairs in 2009. These figures correspond to an estimated decline of 61% in the past 28 years (three generations), hence the population decline is placed in the band 50-79%.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Angola Native Extant   Yes    
Congo Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Gabon Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Mozambique Native Extant   Yes    
Namibia Native Extant       Yes
South Africa Native Extant       Yes

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Angola Iona National Park site factsheet
Namibia Ichaboe Island site factsheet
Namibia Lüderitz Bay islands site factsheet
Namibia Mercury Island site factsheet
Namibia Namib-Naukluft Park site factsheet
Namibia Possession Island site factsheet
South Africa Algoa Bay Island Nature Reserve site factsheet
South Africa Bird Island site factsheet
South Africa Boulders Bay site factsheet
South Africa Dassen Island site factsheet
South Africa Dyer Island Nature Reserve site factsheet
South Africa Overstrand site factsheet
South Africa Robben Island National Historical Monument site factsheet
South Africa West Coast National Park and Saldanha Bay islands site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands major breeding
Marine Intertidal Rocky Shoreline suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Shingle and/or Pebble Shoreline and/or Beaches major breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) major breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud major non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) major breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) major non-breeding
Shrubland Temperate suitable breeding
Altitude 0 - 0 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Biological resource use Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources / Unintentional effects: (large scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 7
Stresses
Indirect ecosystem effects, Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Unlikely to Return Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Past Impact
Stresses
Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Climate change & severe weather Storms & flooding Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Causing/Could cause fluct Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success
Energy production & mining Mining & quarrying Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Unlikely to Return Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Past Impact
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Human intrusions & disturbance Work & other activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Unlikely to Return Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Past Impact
Stresses
Species disturbance
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases / Domestic Cat (Felis catus) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Decline Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic native species/diseases Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Competition, Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Pollution Industrial & military effluents / Oil spills Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Likely to Return Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Past Impact
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality

Utilisation

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food (human) Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent
Food (human) Whole Eggs Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Spheniscus demersus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 03/09/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 03/09/2014.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Endangered
Family Spheniscidae (Penguins)
Species name author (Linnaeus, 1758)
Population size 52000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 9,400 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change