Who’s Eating Jellyfish? Penguins, That’s Who

2017-10-12T18:06:27+00:00 October 3, 2017|

There are not many jellyvores in the world, or so scientists have long thought. Gelatinous sea animals, like jellyfish and ctenophores, have traditionally been regarded as “dead ends” in food webs. Because they are so low in calories (jellyfish are about 95 percent water), it was thought that most predators would not benefit from eating them. But a recent study has identified a new, unexpected jelly-eater: penguins.

Finding New Homes Won’t Help Emperor Penguins Cope With Climate Change

2017-06-16T08:53:40+00:00 June 16, 2017|

If projections for melting Antarctic sea ice through 2100 are correct, the vanishing landscape will strip Emperor penguins of their breeding and feeding grounds and put populations at risk. But like other species that migrate to escape the wrath of climate change, can these iconic animals be spared simply by moving to new locations? According to new research led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), they cannot. Scientists report that dispersal may help sustain global Emperor penguin populations for a limited time, but, as sea ice conditions continue to deteriorate, the 54 colonies that exist today will face devastating declines by the end of this century. They say the Emperor penguin should be listed as an endangered species. The study was published in the June 6, 2017 edition of the journal Biological Conservation.

New Zealand’s Yellow-Eyed Penguins May Be In Trouble

2017-05-19T13:57:12+00:00 May 19, 2017|

The yellow-eyed penguin—a rare species named for its distinctive band of golden feathers—has become one of New Zealand’s most prominent cultural icons (second to the kiwi, of course). Images of the penguins are stamped on the country’s $5 notes and splashed across airport billboards. Tourism centered on the birds contributes some $100 million NZD to the local economy each year. But a new study suggests that these beloved penguin populations are perilously declining, Kendra Pierre-Louis reports for Popular Science.

3.6 Million More Penguins Live in Antarctica Than Thought

2017-03-17T13:09:39+00:00 March 17, 2017|

The number of Adélie penguins living in East Antarctica may be double what scientists previously thought. New data collected by researchers at the University of Adelaide in Australia estimates the population number at nearly six million—almost four million higher than previous estimates.

Member Highlight: NASA Collaboration Allows Citizen Scientists To Lend A Hand In Penguin Conservation

2016-11-14T14:55:27+00:00 November 7, 2016|

Tracking penguin populations in Antarctica is a critical component of understanding environmental changes in the region.Now, thanks to a collaboration between NASA and Stony Brook University, citizen scientists can lend a hand through the use of a new, interactive, and user-friendly website that tracks Antarctic penguin populations and provides information to scientists.

Study Shows Mixed Fortunes For Signy Penguins

2016-10-28T11:32:38+00:00 October 28, 2016|

A forty year study on a remote Antarctic island shows that while populations of two penguin species are declining, a third is increasing. Analysis of census data from Signy Island in the South Orkney Islands reveals that, between 1978 and 2016, the number of chinstrap penguin pairs declined by nearly 70 per cent. Pairs of Adélie penguins dropped by more than 40 per cent but the number of gentoo penguin pairs more than trebled.

150,000 Penguins Killed After Colossal Iceberg In Antarctica Leaves Colony Landlocked

2016-02-16T19:01:28+00:00 February 16, 2016|

(Click to enlarge) Adelie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) (Credit: Wikimedia Commons) A colony of Adelie penguins faces being wiped out after an iceberg the size of Rome became lodged in their bay.(From the Independent/by May Bulman ) -- An estimated 150,000 penguins of Cape Denison in Commonwealth Bay have been killed since the iceberg measuring 1,120 square [...]

Antarctic Climate and Food Web Strongly Linked

2014-07-11T13:29:05+00:00 July 11, 2014|

A long-term study of the links between climate and marine life along the rapidly warming West Antarctic Peninsula reveals how changes in physical factors such as wind speed and sea-ice cover send ripples up the food chain, with impacts on everything from single-celled algae to penguins.

Emperor Penguin in Peril: Climate Change Threatens Dramatic Declines

2014-07-01T12:52:28+00:00 July 1, 2014|

(Click to enlarge) The study was conducted by lead author Stephanie Jenouvrier, a biologist with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), and colleagues at the Centre d’Etudes Biologiques de Chizé (French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, and the University [...]

Melting Sea Ice Threatens Emperor Penguins

2016-06-29T09:24:45+00:00 June 21, 2012|

If global temperatures continue to rise, however, the Emperor penguins in Terre Adélie, in East Antarctica may eventually disappear, according to a new study by led by researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).

Fish of Antarctica Threatened by Climate Change

2016-06-29T10:10:24+00:00 February 14, 2012|

A Yale-led study of the evolutionary history of Antarctic fish and their "anti-freeze" proteins illustrates how tens of millions of years ago a lineage of fish adapted to newly formed polar conditions -- and how today they are endangered by a rapid rise in ocean temperatures.