Robben Island penguin pressure model: a decision support tool for an ecosystems approach to fisheries management

Master Thesis


Permanent link to this Item
Journal Title
Link to Journal
Journal ISSN
Volume Title

University of Cape Town

The African penguin (Spheniscus demersus) population in southern Africa has declined from approximately 575 000 adults at the start of the 20th century to 180 000 adults in the early 1990s. The population is still declining, leading to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature upgrading the status of African penguins to Endangered on the Red List of Threatened Species. This dissertation uses a systems dynamics approach to produce a model incorporating all important pressures. The model is stochastic and spatially explicit, and uses expert opinion where data are not available. The model has been produced and revised with the help of the Penguin Modelling Group, based at the University of Cape Town. The modelling process culminated in a workshop where participants experimented with the model themselves. The model in this dissertation is only applicable to the penguin population on Robben Island and, as such, conclusions drawn cannot necessarily be applied to other penguin colonies.

Includes bibliographical references.