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African Penguin Decline – BBC Fake News

October 16, 2018
tags: ,

By Paul Homewood


As we found out last week, the directive has come down from on high at the BBC to ramp up climate alarm at every opportunity they get.

The memo has evidently been received in the BBC newsroom, who broadcast this flagrantly dishonest piece yesterday about African penguins on Outside Source (at about 51 minutes in):




Unfortunately the programme expires on iPlayer tonight, but this is the full transcript:


The next report is about the African penguin population and how it’s rapidly declining. Conservationists are saying their habitat is being hit by rising tides caused by climate change.

And it’s interesting that since that report by the UN last week on climate change, so many different organisations have been coming forward to emphasise the importance it has on their work.


Reporter Eliza Philippides reporting from S Africa:

Boulders Beach, home to one of the 28 African penguin habitats. These birds can only be found in S Africa and Namibia. But their survival is under threat, and one of the reasons is there is not enough fish in the sea.


Faroeshka Rodgers, Section Ranger of Simon’s Town:

The African penguin have to swim far distances to find food, but in the past that was not the case. We suspect this could be from commercial trawling or over exploitation of the food sources of the African penguin.


Eliza Philippides

In just three years the number of breeding pairs has dropped by a fifth. Here at Boulders Beach the rangers are encouraging the penguins to use artificial nest boxes, hoping to increase their chances of breeding successfully.

This colony is the only place in the world where people can swim freely with these endangered birds. As a result they get millions of visitors every year.



Stabilising the population and increasing penguin numbers is a priority here. The aim? That children can see the African penguin in the wild.



And, apart from a brief interview with a tourist, who could not believe how close she got the the critters, that was it!

There was not a single mention of climate change or sea levels or tides from either the rangers themselves, who are the experts, or from the BBC’s reporter, Philippides.

So why did the presenter even mention it at the start, never mind fail to even acknowledge the very real and obvious problem  of over fishing?

Surprisingly nobody mentioned either the very real threat to the penguins well being caused by “millions of tourists getting close up”. But apparently “letting children see them” is more important.


As for sea levels at Simon’s Town, they have been rising gradually at 2.14mm/year, and have actually fallen during the last decade:




Simon’s Bay has wide, sandy beaches, with plenty of rocky outcrops. The idea that an increase in sea level of less than an inch a decade could make the slightest difference to the penguins’ nesting sites or general welfare belongs on Jackanory, not a supposedly serious news programme.



Simon’s Bay



The African penguin population has been declining sharply since the early 1900a,

and the reasons are well understood and have nothing to do with climate change, as the Organization for the Conservation of Penguins explains:


Breeding no longer occurs at 10 localities where it formerly occurred or has been suspected to occur. The present population is probably less than 10% of that in 1900, when there was estimated to be about 1.5 million birds on Dassen Island alone. By 1956 the population had fallen to roughly half that in 1900, and had halved again by the late 1970s, when there was an estimated 220,000 adult birds. By the late 1980s the number had dropped to about 194,000 and in the early 1990s there was an estimated 179,000 adult birds.

Given an annual rate of decline of about 2% per year, there is considerable concern about the long-term viability of African Penguins in the wild. By the late 1990s the population had recovered slightly, and in 1999 there was an estimated 224,000 individuals. The African Penguin is now classified as Endangered by the IUCN, and is listed in Appendix II of CITES and the Bonn Convention for the conservation of migratory species.

The reasons for the significant decline in the African Penguin populations are well known. Initially, the decline was due mostly to the exploitation of penguin eggs for food, and habitat alteration and disturbance associated with guano collection at breeding colonies. These factors have now largely ceased, and the major current threats include competition with commercial fisheries for pelagic fish prey, and oil pollution. Other threats include competition with Cape Fur Seals for space at breeding colonies and for food resources, as well as predation by seals on penguins. Feral cats are present and pose a problem at a few of the colonies. African Penguins also face predation of eggs and chicks by avian predators such as Kelp Gulls and Sacred Ibises, while natural terrestrial predators, such as mongoose, genets and leopard are present at the mainland colonies.


It is obvious that BBC presenters have been told to get a plug in for climate change, whenever news items like these come along, regardless of how tenuous or outright incorrect the link may be.

  1. HotScot permalink
    October 16, 2018 5:10 pm

    Like nothing ever went extinct before man turned up.

    Oh look, another T. Rex just trotted past my front door!

    Where’s the dog gone?

  2. quaesoveritas permalink
    October 16, 2018 5:44 pm

    I have sent a complaint to the BBC about this.

    I think the BBC now think that it is sufficient evidence just to mention the magic words “climate change” in relation to any event, to demonstrate that it is true,

    I also disagree with the closing remark in the video:

    “Stabilising the population and increasing penguin numbers is a priority here. The aim? That children can see the African penguin in the wild.”

    No it isn’t, The aim is to preserve the species, It doesn’t matter whether human children can see them. I think this only demonstrates human arrogance towards wildlife – that the only reason for preserving it is for our benefit.

    • Lezz permalink
      October 16, 2018 7:02 pm

      If you want a good laugh, listen to today’s ‘Costing the Earth’ on BBC R4. A blend of BBC climate change scaremongering and feminism at its most extreme.

    • quaesoveritas permalink
      October 20, 2018 2:17 pm

      I have had a reply from the BBC asking me to resubmit my complaint to provide more information and it seems that the reason is that I did not submit my full name.
      I think they mean I only submitted my second name and my initials, which has worked in the past. Is this a delaying tactic by the BBC I wonder?

  3. John of Cloverdale, WA, Australia permalink
    October 16, 2018 5:48 pm

    We have Fairy Penguins near Perth. No mention of climate change as a threat on this WA Government website, only the obvious ones:
    “Threats: In Western Australia, little penguins have declined in number since European settlement. Predation by introduced animals such as foxes, dogs and cats has had a severe impact on birds nesting on the mainland and colonies are now largely confined to offshore islands. At sea, penguins are vulnerable to hazards such as discarded plastics and fishing line, boat strikes and oil pollution, and are also taken by natural predators like sea lions and sharks. Other impacts include people trampling their nest sites, loss of suitable habitat and destabilisation of foredunes (which may prevent penguins from accessing nest sites).”

  4. quaesoveritas permalink
    October 16, 2018 5:52 pm

    By the way, am sure that the BBC presenters are told what to say by some faceless person behind the scenes (producer?), That’s probably the origin of the problem.

  5. Phoenix44 permalink
    October 16, 2018 6:04 pm

    I honestly don’t think the BBC cares any more. It has decided, at some core level, that it is right to promote whatever it thinks is right. After a series of stories on Brexit and the economy, i finally had to complain today after the economics correspondent claimed that “We are all poorer” now because the median wage is lower now. An economics correspondent should know that the median wage can fall even if everybody is getting paid more – just bring in large numbers of previously unemployed, who tend to come in to the labour market below the median wage.

    And of course the good news about wage growth and youth unemployment was in a little box in the top corner – had it been bad news and they could have blamed it on Brexit, it would have been a big splash.

  6. October 16, 2018 6:12 pm

    In a recently released report on the effects of catastrophic climate disruption, the IPCC has released a study on the precipitous decline of the Saharan penguin population. Several peer-reviewed studies have shown that anthropogenic climate change since the start of the industrial revolution has resulted in the almost complete extinction of this species. While there exists unequivocal historical evidence for the wide-spread occurrence of this species up to 1650 (e.g. One Thousand and One Nights, Scheherezade, Sinbad et al.), recent studies have failed to find any breeding pairs. An IPCC spokesperson stated in a press conference announcing this report that reversing this trend will require international funding of 1.2 trillion dollars per year for the next ten years.

  7. October 17, 2018 12:02 am

    Paul someone scraping your stories

    • Up2snuff permalink
      October 18, 2018 9:13 pm

      Stew, realised that but too good an opportunity too miss.

      Where’s my cheque?


  8. October 17, 2018 12:02 am

    Oh item was in 1pm news also

    • October 17, 2018 12:03 am

      Click the datestamp to see the rest of that thread aswell

  9. October 17, 2018 9:46 am

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    And in today’s climate change news… 🤔

  10. Europeanonion permalink
    October 17, 2018 9:49 am

    It’s an exercise in squaring the circle. If any research, any conundrum is beyond analytical understanding then, “that’s where dragons be”, and no further understanding is necessary. In the end, the convenient answer will predominate and man will go down the pan because of lack of enquiry and the charlatanism of those conveying or regurgitating fake information or convenient lies.

    “Comedy is all about sincerity. Once you have learned to fake that you are made”; Joshua Reynolds: He who resolves never to ransack any mind but his own, will be soon reduced, from mere barrenness, to the poorest of imitations; he will be obliged to imitate himself, and to repeat what he has often before repeated.

    It so discredits intellectualism and discourages endeavour. The fact is that today you can buy a scientist and have them prove your point. So much finger pointing at states that are said to be undermining us, infiltrating our psyche, I suppose we can now add the BBC to the list and whoever it is that decided AGW has to be promoted over all else. To all intents and purposes they might as well be agents of other powers (also goes to the IPCC, if they are infiltrated then the reduction of western democracy can be achieved by inciting their own people).

  11. swan101 permalink
    October 17, 2018 11:40 am

    Reblogged this on UPPER SONACHAN WIND FARM.

  12. matthew dalby permalink
    October 17, 2018 9:25 pm

    I can’t remember the last time I saw a story in any media outlet about declining wildlife that didn’t mention climate change as one of the factors causing the decline, even if there is no evidence to support the assumption.

    • dave permalink
      October 18, 2018 8:07 am

      “…that didn’t mention…”

      It is reminiscent of the late 19th Century, when discussions of social problems, or historical developments, usually started with a genefluction to “the science [sic] of eugenics.”

  13. October 18, 2018 3:06 pm

    Someone call Heather, the ecologist from one of the SUNY branches, who conducted the “count” of Adelie penguins in the Antarctic and moaned about their demise. Oh, wait; it turned out that she and her crack scientists missed several islands which contained millions of the little birds.

    Sorry, Paul, I could not find that particular article posted here more than a year ago.

  14. Malcolm K Chapman permalink
    October 18, 2018 7:28 pm

    Let us hope that there is some smart young person within the BBC, who is saying the right things to save their job, but who can recognise the ideological corruption, document it, and eventually tell us the story. It will be a story worth telling, and a journalistic coup for an ambitious iconoclast. The sooner the better, of course. There are a few £trillions at stake, and doubtless many shabby tales of power misuse within the organisation. But we need someone inside to tell the tale – brave enough, well enough connected, and able to recognise the opportunity.

  15. October 19, 2018 6:02 am

    We had this news broadcast in SA on our TV network last night. I was astonished that the obvious reason of over fishing, was a second thought to so called climate change and rising sea levels. People here just copycat what is said at the BBC, without thinking and doing their homework.

  16. Russ Wood permalink
    October 19, 2018 3:13 pm

    And the major reason for the overfishing in the penguins’ feeding grounds is the total political incompetence of the South African government. The lack of fisheries research and control can be traced back 5-6 years when the Ag and Fish Ministry decided to hand the fisheries watchdog agency to – a commercial fishing combine! Then the government expected the Navy to do a job that they weren’t trained and equipped for. Now, I believe enforcement is by a couple of policemen in an rubber boat. Also, under the current government watch, the abalone population has been poached to almost zero (with a number of ministry people apparently involved).
    So, no CAGW (as usual), just a load of human incompetence and greed (also as usual).

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