Photo Story: Rehabilitation of 1700 Cape Cormorant chicks, South Africa

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Volunteers assist an abandoned Cape Cormorant chick during rehabilitation at the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coast Birds (SANCCOB) in Cape Town, South Africa, on 27 January 2021.

SANCCOB is currently rehabilitating approximately 1700 abandoned Cape Cormorant chicks. Scientists cite a few factors leading to the Cormorant’s parents and colonies abandoning their young. Food scarcity due to overfishing and climate change are the most common causes. Cape cormorants feed on small pelagic fish species which are at very low levels in the Cape waters currently. Cape Cormorants are listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). SANCCOB has called for volunteers to help with the crisis. Once the chicks have undergone the rehabilitation process at SANCCOB and regain their strength to a point where they care able to hunt for themselves they will be released back into the wild.

EPA-EFE/NIC BOTHMA

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