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Climate Change: Thank You! New Penguin Colonies Found as Birds Move South Despite Rising Temperatures
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Climate Change: Thank You! New Penguin Colonies Found as Birds Move South Despite Rising Temperatures

Thanks, Climate Change? New Penguin Colonies Discovered As Birds Move South Due to Rising Temperatures


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New penguin colonies have been discovered in Antarctica, as rising temperatures and climate change make it difficult for the birds to rear their offspring.

Researchers in the Antarctic say they have discovered new gentoo penguin colonies including the first-ever sightings of the species in a previously unexplored archipelago on the continent’s northern tip. They also discovered a colony in Andersson Island, on the eastern shore of the peninsula. Scientists believe they found 75 chicks at Andersson Island.

Scientists believe that the discovery of penguins as indicator species could cause problems for the Antarctic ecosystem in general. Climate changeThe region continues to experience record-breaking temperatures.

Warming temperatures

These findings are the first to be recorded for gentoos in the South. Researchers claim that it was too cold for temperate birds to raise chicks there in the past.

“Mapping out these remote archipelagos will give us a better understanding of how the region’s penguins are responding to rapid climate change,” Heather Lynch, the expedition lead and professor of ecology and evolution at New York’s Stony Brook University, said in a statement.

Photo by Long Ma on Unsplash

She said that some of the area was surveyed by foot, and satellite images had previously shown the previously undiscovered birds. The Greenpeace expedition was led by the researchers.

“As expected, we’re finding gentoo penguins nearly everywhere we look—more evidence that climate change is drastically changing the mix of species here on the Antarctic Peninsula,” Lynch said.

The discovery comes at a time when Antarctica has experienced record-breaking temperatures in recent years. In February 2020, the region recorded a high of 18.3°C (nearly 70°F).

AntarcticaIt is especially sensitive to climate change. In the past 50 years, temperatures have risen by almost 3 degrees Celsius.

“This new temperature record is therefore consistent with the climate change we are observing,” Petteri Taalas, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization, said at the time.

Gentoo penguins

Researchers also conducted the first ever colony count for the gentoo penguins. These birds are the third-largest penguin species, and they swim the fastest underwater. The birds are marked by a A white stripe at the head, a long tail, and a reddish beak.

Photo by Tam Warner Minton on Unsplash

“In the Antarctic, one of the most remote places on Earth, we are seeing a ‘gentoofication’ process where this species of penguin is spreading into new habitat and breeding further south: a biological manifestation of sea ice loss,” Louisa Casson, from Greenpeace’s Protect the Oceans campaign, said in a statement. She described it as “the climate crisis happening right in front of our eyes”.

These findings were released on January 20, World Penguin Day. Casson is urging governments to agree to a new Global Ocean Treaty that would protect at least 30 percent of the world’s oceans by 2030.

“Penguins and people across the world can’t wait,” she said, “we need politicians to get ocean protection done now.”

Photo by Derek Oyen on Unsplash


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