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Penguin Awareness Day – January 20, 2023

Penguin Awareness Day is observed on January 20 every year and while we are certainly aware of how adorable these flightless birds are, the dwindling number of penguins needs more attention. The rapidly shrinking population of penguins every year goes mostly unnoticed because their natural habitat is usually where humans don’t live. Penguin Awareness Day is a great initiative to raise awareness on this crucial matter, and also enjoy fun penguin-themed activities.

History of Penguin Awareness Day

The sight of a small penguin waddling around in its icy homeland is truly endearing. Penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere and are classified as aquatic birds. Zooming in on the south of the equator, there are two types of natural habitats where penguins are found — subantarctic and temperate environments. Nearly 20 species of these fluffy creatures are known, of which the emperor penguins are the largest and the smallest are the penguins native to the coastal areas of New Zealand and Australia. The 2011 animated movie “Happy Feet” featured emperor penguins as the lead stars.

These flightless birds spend their days swimming and hunting for fish to eat. Leading peaceful lives, penguins are harmless but are hunted by predators such as whales, sharks, and seals. This is why penguins are seen in groups, to distract potential hunters. Penguins have always been the subject of great intrigue, with a long list of cartoon movies and documentaries attributed to them.

Unfortunately, penguins are decreasing in population and the exact reason is still to be known. Some researchers found that the plummeting number of krill was the cause; the Malacostraca species is only two inches in length but is significant in the world food chain. Other researchers claim that climate change and changing environments are the cause.

Whatever the reason be, our penguin friends need our help. By researching, collecting information, and spreading it through the right mediums, we can save the birds from extinction altogether.

Penguin Awareness Day timeline

60 Million Years Ago
The Oldest Penguin Ever

Based on the evidence, a penguin named ‘Waimanu Manneringi’, the oldest-known penguin roams the earth.

2010
Increasing Interest

Scientists and related institutions around the world get involved in Penguin Awareness Day

2017
Ongoing Research

Polito Lab discusses in a video their efforts to study penguins in Antarctica and their findings.

2020
A Different Birdie

Penguin Awareness Day becomes a hot topic on Twitter.

Penguin Awareness Day FAQs

Who started National Penguin Day?

Gerry Wallace
National Penguin Day began in 1972, when Gerry Wallace of Alamogordo, California, wrote the event on his wife’s (Aleta’s) calendar.

Who was the first to see a penguin?

There are several accounts of the first sighting of penguins, but many believe that the men on the ‘Bartolomeu Dias de Novaes’ expedition in 1487 were the first to witness penguins.

Are penguins intelligent?

Penguins are sharp-looking birds who have adorable waddling walks but are quite alert about their surroundings.

How to Observe Penguin Awareness Day

  1. Learn about penguins

    Penguin Awareness Day is all about learning more about penguins, their environment and lifestyle, and the factors that contribute to their extinction. We will only be able to communicate the correct information to others if we continue to learn about them.

  2. Spend time with penguins

    Take a trip to your local zoo and observe penguins. You’d be surprised at how fascinating it can be!

  3. Watch an animated feature

    Put on an episode of “Pingu” or a documentary like “March Of The Penguins (2005),” to really get into the spirit of the day. There’s nothing better than cuddling up and watching these little creatures!

5 Fascinating Facts About Penguins

  1. Penguins have great vision

    Penguins have clear sight underwater.

  2. Penguins are great swimmers

    Penguins can swim up to 22 miles per hour.

  3. The tallest penguin

    The largest of the penguins, the emperor penguin, is almost four feet tall.

  4. Penguins are very friendly

    Since penguins don’t have predators on land, they are very friendly toward humans.

  5. Penguins can stay underwater

    Penguins can stay underneath water for approximately 20 minutes.

Why Penguin Awareness Day is Important

  1. Penguins are adorable

    Who doesn't like penguins? These fluffy birds are adorable and it is alarming to think of them heading towards extinction.

  2. Conservation efforts

    Conservation and preservation of the natural habitats of penguins are needed. This can only be accomplished by the combined efforts of humans and the respective institutions. Every person has a role and therefore can make a difference.

  3. Serious action is needed

    Not just for penguins, but the whole world! Climate change and degradation of the environment is a growing concern, with observances such as Penguin Awareness Day serving as part of the big picture.

Penguin Awareness Day dates

YearDateDay
2023January 20Friday
2024January 20Saturday
2025January 20Monday
2026January 20Tuesday
2027January 20Wednesday

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