Body length: 85 - 90 cm
Approx. 2.6 kg
Estimated at 150,000 breeding pairs
Southern Africa's coasts, Breeds on only six islands
Dive master. When seeking prey, the cape gannet hurls itself towards the water, losing hardly any speed as it submerges. It spends some 20 seconds underwater on each dive, hunting pilchard, suaries and anchovies.To conserve energy, the bird then uses its natural buoyancy to rise to the surface. But food sources are disappearing due to commercial overfishing. The cape gannet has also run afoul of oil spills, and competition is increasing with other species for habitat on its breeding island. This all adds up to deep trouble.