Wednesday, 22 June 2016

443 | Awarded for an outstanding contribution


Photo by Dr. J. Kemper

Dr. Jessica Kemper is a biologist and ecologist with a big heart for the African Penguin. 

Dr. Jessica Kemper obtained her BSc and BSc(Hons) (Zoology) degrees in 1993 from the University of the Witwatersrand and another MSc degree in Botany in 1997 at the Institute for Plant Conservation at the University of Cape Town.
Dr. Kemper's interest in penguins brought her to Namibia, stationed in Lüderitzbucht.

Oil-covered penguin  Photo by Dr. J. Kemper

Washed penguins  Photo by Dr. J. Kemper

For many years she has studied the African Penguin colonies near Lüderitz and rescued oil-covered penguins and other seabirds. For her as a scientist these penguins also function as drones testing the Atlantic Ocean for pollutants and bringing back samples of oil slicks to land. Her valuable observations proof that oil spills are common in Namibia and assist in identifying the source of cause. Unfortunately illegal dumping of waste oil saves ships money and thousand kilometers of desolate coast line with no surveillance alongside Namibia's coast is ideal for this. Worldwide studies show that half of all oil in the world's oceans comes from illegal dumping. Disposing waste oil properly costs a ship US$30 000 to US$155 000 annually, therefore many save these costs by dumping the waste unnoticed. 

Apart from many other publications she was a co-author of the scientific book Birds to watch in Namibia, Red, Rare and Endemic Species in 2016.

BirdsConTour values her exemplary input in saving oil polluted African Pinguins by awarding Dr. Jessica Kemper with a one penguin-rated Conservation Support 2016 Award.

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