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Climate: a new colony of penguins discovered in Antarctica


If this discovery is good news, the colony is small and in an area very affected by the melting of the pack ice.

This is very good news for biodiversity.

British scientists announced on Friday that they had identified a new colony of emperor penguins in Antarctica, where this species is very threatened by global warming.

For this, they used satellite images of the continent.

The research team spotted the colony of 500 members thanks to the dark spots clearly visible from space made by the excrement of these animals on the ice floe, details the British Antarctic Survey, a British research organization, in a press release.

This new colony brings to 66 the number of groups of emperor penguins identified along the Antarctic coast, half of which have now been spotted thanks to satellite images.

“It's an exciting discovery (…) but, if it represents good news (…), this colony is small and in a region very affected by the melting of the pack ice”, nuances Professor Peter Fretwell, who led these research for the British Antarctic Survey.

A species extinct by the end of the century

The emperor penguin, the largest penguin species that lives and breeds only in Antarctica, was recently listed as an endangered species by the US wildlife authority.

Read alsoResearchers confirm the exceptional melting of the Antarctic sea ice in 2022

Global warming and the melting of the sea ice are jeopardizing the penguin's breeding grounds, while the acidification of the oceans threatens certain varieties of crustaceans on which it feeds.

So much so that scientists estimate that at the current rate of global warming, almost all emperor penguins could be extinct by the end of the century.

Scientists worked on this project to identify penguin colonies using a satellite mission developed under the European climate change program Copernicus.

Source: leparis

All news articles on 2023-01-20

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