Berlin, August 5
British scientists say there are extra emperor penguin colonies in Antarctica than beforehand thought primarily based on proof of chook droppings noticed from house.
A examine revealed on Wednesday by scientists on the British Antarctic Survey counted 61 emperor penguin colonies dotted across the southernmost continent, 11 greater than the quantity beforehand confirmed.
Scientists used pictures from Europe’s Sentinel-2 satellite tv for pc mission to search for smudges on the ice that indicated giant quantities of guano, or penguin poop.
The majestic emperor penguin breeds in distant areas the place temperatures can drop as little as minus 50 levels Celsius (minus 58 levels Fahrenheit).
Researchers have lengthy relied on aerial pictures and satellites to identify colonies of the flightless marine birds.
Peter Fretwell, a British Antarctic Survey geographer and the examine’s lead writer, referred to as the most recent rely “good news” however famous that the newly noticed colonies had been small.
“(They) solely take the general inhabitants rely up by 5-10 per cent to simply over half one million penguins or round 265,500 – 278,500 breeding pairs,” he stated.
Emperor penguins are susceptible to the lack of sea ice predicted to happen due to man-made world warming. Some researchers counsel the variety of colonies might drop by greater than 30 per cent by the top of the century.
A few of the newly found colonies are situated far offshore, on sea ice that has shaped round grounded icebergs and which is especially liable to disappearing. AP