SAVE THEM ALL: Number 14—Today’s Endangered All-Star is the African Penguin, a bird that has been reduced to ten percent of its former population. Found off the southwest coast of Africa, living in coastal areas and on islands offshore, the species was devastated by egg-collection, overfishing, and the collection of guano as fertilizer, which was needed by the birds to establish nests on rocky coastline. An oil spill in 2000 between Robben and Dassen Islands off of Cape Town was also devastating, but it brought the birds’ plight to public attention, and there was an outpouring of volunteer effort to clean 19,000 oiled birds. Over 90% of the birds were successfully treated and released, with some volunteers even knitting little penguin-sized sweaters for the afflicted. If you’re interested in volunteering to help these endangered birds on Robben Island, check out this Earthwatch project, which is fielding several teams in 2010.