The Decline of the African Penguin. With hands that have been pecked many times over, Bird Rehabilitator Selena Flores of the United States carefully examines an African Penguin, checking its feathers for oil and impermeability at the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB)'s rehabilitation center in Cape Town, South Africa. The African Penguin is critically endangered and hurtling toward extinction. The population declined 95 percent from the turn of the 20th century and a recent crash reduced their numbers from around 60,000 breeding pairs in 2000 to 25,000 pairs and dropping today. They face traditional threats from other land and sea animals, but human habitat encroachment and severe overfishing has led to unsustainable conditions for the species. Despite the efforts of many organizations that exist to conserve their existence and being beloved mascots and a popular tourist draw in Southern Africa where they are found, they face extinction much sooner than later.