Will emperor penguins disappear in Antarctica?

File Sputnik

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — The melting of the fast ice has caused the death of 14,500 to 25,000 emperor penguins in Antarctica, said a study that also indicates that the population of these birds could decline by 70% by the end of the century.

Scientists have just made a catastrophic finding about the emperor penguins at the Halley colony in Antarctica , according to a study published in the journal Antarctic Science. All the chicks died there due to the melting of their habitat during the last three years.

Satellite images show that the second largest colony of emperor penguins in the world, Halley Bay, has had three years of almost no breeding.

This is an unprecedented period in history, say the researchers. These events result from the melting of the fast ice that birds usually used to breed, once forming up to 25,000 pairs per year.

The breaking point is in September 2015, when El Niño, the strongest cyclone in more than 60 years, passed through. Over the next two years, the number of penguins in the nearby colony, Dawson-Lambton, 55 km to the south, increased ten-fold.

The authors associate this with immigration from Halley Bay, where the colony has almost disappeared.

The melting of the pack ice would have killed 14,500 to 25,000 birds. The emperor’s population, the biggest penguin , could decline by 70% by the end of the century, scientists predict.

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