African penguins (aka Blackfooted) are generally considered to be the most endangered penguin species. They live along the coast of South Africa. One important cause of their decline was the oil spills off the Cape. The population of African penguin has steeped this century and is still in decline. According to the graph of the estimated breeding population of African penguins in South Africa through 1971 - 2001, the population of originally 56,000 pairs declined sharply to barely 27,00 in 1998. Due to efforts made by support groups to save these penguins, the number of breeding pairs steadily increased back to around 56,000 pairs.
The recent increase in South Africa's penguins is because of the good recruitment to the breeding population that resulted from an increase in the abundance of South Africa's stocks of sardine and anchovy, the two most important food food sources of African penguins.