South African Seabirds

With close on 3000 kilometers of coastline, South Africa boasts one of the richest marine environments in the world. This in turn attracts an incredible diversity of seabird species that play a vital role in the environment. Sadly, many of these seabird species are at severe risk.

Most of the threats faced by seabirds are human induced and include over-fishing, oil pollution, habitat loss and disturbance at breeding sites. Climate change is also starting to have a negative impact, for example, through its effects on displacing the populations of seabirds’ primary food sources.

This project was undertaken in partnership with BirdLife South Africa’s Seabird Division and aims to showcase these incredible birds, highlighting the risks that they are facing and to garner support for their increased protection.

South African Seabirds_©PeterChadwick_AfricanConservationPhotographer

1 of 12: Cape Gannets pair bonding through preening, Malgas Island, West Coast National Park, Western Cape, South Africa

South African Seabirds_©PeterChadwick_AfricanConservationPhotographer

2 of 12: Cape Gannets sleeping with heads tucked under their wings, Malgas Island, Western Cape, South Africa

South African Seabirds_©PeterChadwick_AfricanConservationPhotographer

3 of 12: A newly hatched Cape Gannet chick peers out from beneath the protectiveness of its parent, Malgas Island, Western Cape, South Africa

South African Seabirds_©PeterChadwick_AfricanConservationPhotographer

4 of 12: Cape Gannet breeding colony at dawn, Bird Island, Algoa Bay, Eastern Cape, South Africa

South African Seabirds_©PeterChadwick_AfricanConservationPhotographer

5 of 12: Cape Gannets stand over their nests during a partly cloudy night., Malgas Island, West Coast National Park, Western Cape, South Africa

South African Seabirds_©PeterChadwick_AfricanConservationPhotographer

6 of 12: An African Black Oystercatchers runs along the beach before sunrise, De Hoop Marine Protected Area, Western Cape, South Africa

South African Seabirds_©PeterChadwick_AfricanConservationPhotographer

7 of 12: African Black Oystercatcher at dawn as the sun rises, De Hoop Marine Protected Area, Western Cape, South Africa

South African Seabirds_©PeterChadwick_AfricanConservationPhotographer

8 of 12: African Black Oystercatcher chick standing behind an out of focus adult, De Hoop Nature Reserve and marine protected area, Western Cape, South Africa

South African Seabirds_©PeterChadwick_AfricanConservationPhotographer

9 of 12: African Black Oystercatchers feeding in the intertidal zone and between breaking waves, De Hoop Nature Reserve & Marine Protected Area, Western Cape, South Africa

South African Seabirds_©PeterChadwick_AfricanConservationPhotographer

10 of 12: African Penguin emerging from the sea, Bird Island, Algoa Bay, Eastern Cape, South Africa

South African Seabirds_©PeterChadwick_AfricanConservationPhotographer

11 of 12: Two African Penguins come ashore at the end of the day and after feeding at sea, Betty's Bay Marine Protected Area, Western Cape, South Africa

South African Seabirds_©PeterChadwick_AfricanConservationPhotographer

12 of 12: An African Penguin walks across a pathway while carrying a stone that will be placed on its nest, Bird Island, Algoa Bay, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Visit African Conservation Photography for a full gallery of Seabird images.