A Cotswold wildlife park is sponsoring a global penguin survey amid fears for their declining population.

Birdland Park & Gardens, home to over 500 birds in Bourton-on-the-Water, is supporting Penguins International's census conducted at several major sites in Peru.

Simon Cox, general manager of Birdland, said: "The censuses are a crucial tool in the ongoing conservation of Humboldts.

"We’re delighted to be able to contribute to that aim because they are fantastic, characterful birds which are much-loved by our visitors."

Cotswold Journal: Head keeper Alistair Keen in Penguin Cove

Humboldts, one of 18 penguin species, are considered "endangered" by Peruvian legislation and labelled "vulnerable" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Previous censuses have recorded annual fluctuations in their numbers and distribution.

Weather patterns, local fish stocks and human disturbance are among the factors affecting these figures.

The population of Humboldts, one of the four "banded" species, along with Galapagos, African, and Magellanic, are dwindling.

Cotswold Journal: Humboldts and Kings in Birdland's penguin enclosure

Humboldts, native to Peru and Chile, have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years in the wild.

Currently, there are about 16,000 breeding pairs and their diet includes anchovies, squid, mackerel and crustaceans.

Birdland’s penguins were recently the subject of a survey from British and American scientists, who visited the Gloucestershire park to observe the mechanics of their walk as part of a fact-finding mission about robotics.