Emperor penguin colonies experienced unprecedented breeding failure in a region of Antarctica where there was total sea ice loss in 2022. The discovery supports predictions that over 90% of emperor penguin colonies will be quasi-extinct by the end of the century, based on current global warming trends.
According to a peer-reviewed British Antarctic Survey report released late last week, the melting of sea ice might have caused the death of some 10,000 Emperor penguin chicks by the end of 2022.
By Stephanie Jenouvrier (*) Emperor penguins thrive on Antarctica’s coastlines in icy conditions any human would find extreme. Yet, like Goldilocks, they have a narrow comfort zone: If there’s too much sea ice, trips to bring food from the ocean become long and arduous, and their chicks may starve. With too little sea ice, the chicks are at risk of drowning.
Waddling up the beach in single file, their heads held high with an almost self-important demeanor, king penguins are a major draw in the Falkland Islands' tourism industry. Their fluffy brown chicks are nearly fearless of humans, meaning tourists at Volunteer Point, a peninsula on East Falkland Island might get almost close enough to touch one.
Three members of Belgium’s Princess Elisabeth Antarctica team became the first humans to have visited and photographed a newly-discovered 9.000-strong colony of emperor penguins on Antarctica’s Princess Ragnhild Coast.
‘Happy Feet’, the lost Emperor penguin who became a worldwide celebrity after he washed up on a New Zealand beach was released back into the Southern Ocean on Sunday to begin a long swim home to Antarctica.
A young emperor penguin, normally found in the Antarctic, has turned up on a New Zealand beach. It is a rare event, the first confirmed sighting of an Emperor penguin in New Zealand in 44 years.