1.5 million penguins discovered on remote Antarctic islands

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  • A thriving “hotspot” of 1.5 million Adelie penguins, a species fast declining in parts of the world, has been discovered on remote islands off the Antarctic Peninsula.

More Details:

  • The first bird census of the Danger Islands unearthed over 750,000 Adelie breeding pairs, more than the rest of the area combined, the team reported in the journal Scientific Reports. The group of nine rocky islands, which lie off the northern tip nearest South America, in the northwest Weddell Sea, housed the third- and fourth-largest Adelie penguin colonies in the world, they found.
  • Adelies are one of five penguin species that live in and around the Antarctic continent. A medium-sized penguin, they grow to about 70 centimetres (almost 28 inches) tall, and weigh three to six kilogrammes (about seven to 13 pounds). They are identified by a white ring around the eye.
  • They are carnivores, and krill — shrimp-like creatures that are commercially fished in the area — is an Adelie staple.
  • In addition to Adelies, the team also found about 100 nests of gentoo penguins, and about 27 nests of chinstrap penguins. The polar regions are warming more rapidly than the rest of Earth as heat-trapping greenhouse gasses from fossil fuel-burning build up in the atmosphere.

Danger Islands

  • The Danger Islands is a group of islands lying 24 km east-south-east of Joinville Island near the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.
  • The Danger Islands have been identified as an “important bird area” by BirdLife International because it supports Adélie penguin colonies and seabirds.

Source:TH & Wiki