Data sent from penguins to space and back to University of British Columbia could help researchers determine why the species’ breeding population fluctuates so dramatically. UBC researchers visited the South Atlantic in April to attach small transmitters to the backs of 66 Gentoo penguins from two colonies in the Falkland Islands
April 25th is “World Penguin Day”, undoubtedly the world’s most popular bird – think of Happy Feet, March of the Penguins, Pingu just to name a few uses in popular culture. These charismatic flightless birds are funny to watch on land but are graceful and rapid in water. They occur only in the seas of the Southern hemisphere; there are seventeen species of penguin ranging from the Galapagos to Antarctica.
The longest and most comprehensive study to date of what penguins eat is published this month. The study, published in the journal Marine Biology, examines the diets of gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis papua) at Bird Island, South Georgia over a 22 year period and is part of a project investigating the Southern Ocean ecosystem and its response to change
A forty year study on a remote Antarctic island shows that while populations of two penguin species are declining, while 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%.
April 25 is one of two days dedicated to the adorable, waddling birds. April 25 is World Penguin Day while January 20th is Penguin Awareness Day.In addition to two penguin days, there are believed to be 17 penguin species, ranging from the Little Blue Penguin to the mighty Emperor Penguin. And several of these are threatened by climate change.
Penguins in addition to being stealthy swimmers and keen hunters, unique video footage has revealed a dark side: a video camera attached to the back of a gentoo penguin swimming off the Falkland Islands captures a violent underwater scuffle where penguins steal food right out of each other’s beaks.
The world’s northernmost colony of king penguins has something to celebrate this week, as Tuesday marks Penguin Awareness Day and these well dressed seabirds play host to an international group of scientists gathered to discuss the Falkland Islands’ rich potential for new research.
According to the most recent count in the Falklands, the number of Gentoo penguin breeding pairs has doubled when compared with the number counted during the last census in 2005. Rockhopper penguin numbers are reported to be stable.