The Aquarium of Niagara has welcomed “Niño,” a three-year-old Humboldt penguin and the newest member of its penguin colony.
Niño came to the aquarium from the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas, as part of the Species Survival Plan through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
Because Humboldt Penguins are considered a threatened species, the Aquarium of Niagara works with other AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums on a breeding and transfer program known as a Species Survival Plan to ensure penguin populations remain healthy and genetically diverse. The Aquarium hopes to receive a mate for Niño through the Species Survival Plan next year.
“The Aquarium of Niagara is proud to play a role in safeguarding a healthy and sustainable future for Humboldt penguins,” said Gary Siddall, executive director of the Aquarium of Niagara. “As the youngest penguin in our colony, Niño may play a significant role in the Species Survival Plan and in creating new generations of Humboldt penguins at the aquarium.”
Niño is named after the “El Niño events” that have greatly threatened and reduced the Humboldt penguin populations in their native environment along the South American coastlines of Peru and Chile. El Niño events bring warmer water toward the South American coast, which reduces both penguin prey and productivity.
Niño joins the Aquarium’s thirteen other Humboldt penguins in Penguin Coast, which underwent a $3.5 million renovation in 2018. Niño can be recognized by his white and purple armband.
Guests who visit during this Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend can take advantage of the aquarium’s “716 Days” promotion and pay just $7.16 for admission.