Supercolony Of Penguins Discovered On Antarctic Island

A thriving super colony of some 1.5 million Adelie penguins has been discovered on the remote Danger Islands in the east Antarctic surprised scientists announced. Just 100 miles away in the west Antarctic the same species is in decline

It is also the only island to date with a population estimate (285,000-305,000) derived from a ground survey of the island.

For as long as 40 years, the aggregate number of Adélie Penguins, a standout amongst the most well-known on the Antarctic Peninsula, has been relentlessly declining- or so scientists have thought. "In the Antarctic, distances are so vast, something major could be just around the corner and you wouldn't know".

The discovery of a massive new bird city shows things must be picking up for the penguins.

Curious, professor Lynch led a team to check out the potential penguin colony first hand, using drones to get an aerial view of the location. A medium-sized penguin, they grow to about 70 centimetres tall, and weigh three to six kilogrammes.

Elsewhere in Antarctica where the climate is more volatile, penguin colonies are in decline. These also provide evidence to support the proposed Marine Protected Areas near the Antarctic Peninsula. They reconfigured a commercial quadcopter drone to fly over the islands taking one photo per second, and those images were were analyzed by neural network software. On the eastern side, where sea ice has been more stable, the species has clearly thrived. The Danger Islands are surrounded by treacherous waters and are almost inaccessible in even the peak of summer, since the ocean nearby remains covered with thick sea ice. "The number of inhabitants in Adélies on the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula is not the same as what we see on the west side, for instance". The quantity of penguins in the Danger Islands could give understanding on penguin populace elements, as well as on the impacts of changing temperature and ocean ice on the district's biology.

A tiny group of islands in the Antarctic ocean called the Danger Islands are home to nearly 1.5 million penguins. A tiny group of islands in the Antarctic ocean called the Danger Islands are home to nearly 1.5 million penguins
Penguin super-colony spotted from space

Upon their arrival in December 2015, the group was confronted with hundreds of thousands of penguins nestling amid the icy rocks.

"The Danger Islands appear to have avoided recent declines documented on the Western AP and, because they are large and likely to remain an important hotspot for avian abundance under projected climate change, deserve special consideration in the negotiation and design of Marine Protected Areas in the region", Lynch and colleagues wrote in the journal Scientific Reports.

"We want to understand why. Food availability? That's something we don't know", said Stephanie Jenouvrier, a seabird ecologist at WHOI, in a press release.

"The sheer size of what we were looking at took our breath away", one of the researchers with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Dr.

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