Climate Change

Emperor penguin disappear in Antarctica overnight after ice shelf collapsed

Emperor penguin

Thousands of emperor penguin babies are believed to have “wiped out” due to drowning. When the ice shelf on which they raised collapsed in 2016. Scientists from the British Antarctic Suvery (BAS), Dr Peter Fretwell and Phil Trathan spotted the disappearance of the so-called Halley Bay colony. Which was the breeding ground for emperor penguins through satellite images.
The population, which is believed to have constituted 5-9 per cent of the global population was believed to have an average of 14,000 to 25,000 breeding pairs for several decades which seemed to disappear overnight. The breeding pairs have showed no signs to re-establish the lost population in the last three years.
“The breeding pair population has increased significantly at a nearby location, but not enough.”said Phil Trathan, head of conservation biology at the BAS who wrote the study. Researches have suggested “the species might lose between 50 and 70 per cent of its global population by the century’s end if sea-ice reduced at the rate computer models envisage.”

Emperor penguin Refugia

Dr Trathan told the BBC: “What’s interesting for me is not that colonies move or that we can have major breeding failures – we know that. It’s that we are talking here about the deep embayment of the Weddell Sea. Potentially one of the climate change refugia for those cold adapted species, ones like the emperor penguins. And so if we see major disturbances in these refugia – where we haven’t previously seen changes in 60 years. That’s an important signal.”

The harsh climate changes and weather conditions to be the reason behind breaking of sea ice. And an iceberg twice as size of New York city believed to break and cause further damage.

Photo by AP(2010)

Article By-

Ramsha Rizwan , New Delhi

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