23 January 2014

Emperor penguins closer to Endangered Species Act protection

Emperor penguins.
Photo credit: Michael Van Woert,
NOAA
USA - In response to a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity, the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that the emperor penguin may warrant Endangered Species Act protection based on threats from climate change.

The most ice-dependent of all penguin species, emperor penguins are threatened by the loss of their sea-ice habitat and declining food availability in Antarctica.

“Our carbon pollution is melting the sea-ice habitat emperor penguins need to survive,” said Shaye Wolf, climate science director at the Center.

20 January 2014

Penguin centenary at Edinburgh Zoo

UK – The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) is celebrating an auspicious milestone this week: 25 January 2014 marks a century since the arrival of penguins at Edinburgh Zoo – the first ever penguins to be seen in Europe. Penguins have since become iconic for the Zoo, and the species was incorporated into the Zoo’s logo.

12 January 2014

Bottom-up research to understand penguin diets

Cawtron Institute senior scientist Jonathan
Banks at work in Antarctica.
Photo credit: Cawthron Institute
ANTARCTICA - What can penguins' poo reveal about how the birds are affected by climate change and commercial fishing?

Cawthron Institute senior scientist Jonathan Banks, a faecal DNA specialist, is applying his unique expertise to an international research project into the impacts of climate change and commercial fishing on penguins, killer whales and seals - Antarctica’s top predators.

09 January 2014

Antarctic emperor penguins may be adapting to warmer temperatures

Emperor penguin colony from the air.
Photo credit: Ian Potten
ANTARCTICA - A new study of four Antarctic emperor penguin colonies suggest that unexpected breeding behaviour may be a sign that the birds are adapting to environmental change.

Analysis of satellite observations reveals that penguin colonies moved from their traditional breeding grounds on the thin layer of ice (sea ice) to the much thicker floating ice shelves that surround the continent during years when the sea ice formed later than usual.