Volunteers assist abandoned cape cormorant chicks during rehabilitation at the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coast Birds (SANCCOB) in Cape Town, South Africa, 27 January 2021.
SANCCOB is currently rehabilitating approximately 1700 abandoned cape cormorant chicks. Scientists cite a few factors leading to the cormorants parents and colonies abandoning their young, among which are food scarcity due to overfishing and climate change are the most common causes.
These birds feed on small pelagic fish species which are currently at very low levels in the Cape waters. 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 and regain their strength to a point where they are able to hunt for themselves they will be released back into the wild.
A visual story by EFE/EPA’s NIC BOTHMA