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MonJan 20

National Penguin Day – January 20, 2025

We love penguins for lots of reasons: They walk around in tuxedos, they have a cute waddle, and they’re unique! And to show that we care, we observe National Penguin Day on January 20. While this day celebrates the penguins, it’s also a time to think about saving them. Many penguin colonies have been lost to climate change and it’s estimated that half the population of emperor penguins will vanish by the end of this century. We can start to help these endangered creatures by focusing on environmental issues.

National Penguin Day timeline

The First to Mention the Emperor

The first person to describe emperor penguins is Johann Reinhold Forster, who spots a few during James Cook's voyage.

Studying the Emperor

Over two expeditions, Robert F. Scott discovers and investigates the first breeding colony of emperor penguins, broadening our knowledge about this species.

More Penguins Found

Over a million Adélie penguins are found living off the coast of Antarctica, on the remote Danger Islands.

An Ominous Study

The study estimates that by 2100, at least two-thirds of emperor penguin colonies will have dramatically declined.

National Penguin Day Activities

  1. Try to see some penguins

    That is, if you're lucky enough to live near a zoo with a penguin exhibit.

  2. Watch a penguin movie

    Try "March of the Penguins 2" — released in early 2018.

  3. Talk to your children about climate change

    Kids need to know about this critical environmental issue.

5 Pretty Cool Things To Know About Penguins

  1. They kidnap chicks

    When a female emperor penguin's baby dies, she will often "kidnap" an unrelated chick.

  2. They're down south

    There are 17 species of penguins and all of them live in the Southern Hemisphere.

  3. Macaroni penguins rule

    The penguin species with the highest population is the macaroni penguin with 11 million pairs.

  4. The fastest penguin

    The gentoo Penguin is the fastest swimmer — reaching speeds up to 22 mph.

  5. They're all wet (usually)

    An average penguin might spend up to 75 percent of its life in the water — where it also hunts for prey.

Why We Love National Penguin Day

  1. People love penguins

    Whether it's watching a documentary or seeing them for real, we're fascinated with these creatures.

  2. Conservation

    This day also sheds light on the plight of the penguins, and teaches us about saving them.

  3. Habitat

    One recent study warns that up to 70% of king penguins could be forced to find new places to breed by 2100.

National Penguin Day dates

2025January 20Monday
2026January 20Tuesday
2027January 20Wednesday
2028January 20Thursday
2029January 20Saturday

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