Saturday, December 15, 2007

Penguin Populations Declining in Antarctica

A WWF report shows that 4 of the penguin species in the Antarctic are becoming increasingly at risk of becoming endangered. These species are the Adelie, the Chinstrap, the Gentoo, and the Emperor. I found it particularly interesting that the Chinstrap was mentioned because I remember that they were actually increasing in population because of how the food chain was changing and they could adapt easier than the Adelies they lived near, which is something I wrote about when I did research on climate change in Antarctica almost 2 years ago. The biggest reason for the decline is their decreasing food supply due to warming and overfishing. The article hints at what I thought was the increasing Chinstrap populations in that they are moving into areas of Antarctica previously too cold for them, but not too cold for the Adelies.

I am just a little skeptical on their numbers for the percent the populations have decreased. Sure they have decreased, but the numbers just are way higher than what I have seen before in my penguin research. Besides I still believe even if these penguins are nearing endangered status it needs to be remembered that there are officially penguins that are endangered that deserve some attention to their plight, although they are not in Antarctica. These three are the Galapagos Penguin, the Erect-crested Penguin, and the Yellow-Eyed Penguin. Also, my research (I did a 30 page paper on endangered penguins) shows the African penguin is the closest to being endangered out of the penguins that do not have endangered status.

Photos of the three Antarctic Penguins discussed that I have seen, Adelie, Chinstrap, and Gentoo


Kelly said...

I hope their numbers are wrong

wildcat1001 said...

Well, they are not wrong in that the populations are certainly declining, however they may be exagerating it a little. Either way climate change certainly is causing problems for all penguin species, although some more than others are being effected.