January 20 is celebrated worldwide as Penguin Awareness Day. Penguins are a separate detachment of birds, all species of which cannot fly, but swim and dive excellently. Their elongated bodies combined with powerful flippers make penguins unsurpassed swimmers. Waterproof plumage, down and a layer of subcutaneous fat allow birds to keep warm on land and in water.
Penguins live in the sea waters of the Southern Hemisphere from the coast of Antarctica to the Galapagos Islands near the equator. In total, there are 18 species that differ in appearance and size. The largest representative is the emperor penguin, its height can reach 120 cm, and its weight is more than 40 kg. The smallest of all species is the little penguin, its height is about 33 cm, and its weight is about 1.5 kg.
Nowadays, all types of penguins are experiencing the consequences of human activities, and the main danger to them is global climate change. Today, regardless of habitat, the number of most penguin species is declining. The unfavorable state of their population is a harbinger of larger environmental problems, so these birds serve as indicators of the health of the marine environment.
Humboldt penguins live in Kharkiv Zoo - inhabitants of the cold waters of the Peruvian coast of South America. In nature, this is a very rare species, so there is an international program for their conservation in zoos, and our zoo has joined this program.