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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Two species of sub-Antarctic penguin have surprised scientists in New Zealand by travelling up to 15,000km (9,320 miles) during six months spent at sea.
The new study, published in the journal Scientific Reports on Wednesday, looked at various levels of warming expected over this century as predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations' group that is the gold standard for climate forecasts.
(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 [...]
A study of how climate change has affected emperor penguins over the last 30,000 yrs found that only 3 populations may have survived during the last ice age, and that the Ross Sea in Antarctica was likely the refuge for one of these populations.
In a part of the world that is experiencing the most dramatic increase in temperature and climate change, two very similar species of animals are responding very differently.