Adélie penguins may be very adorable, but we can lose these iconic creatures if we don't work towards their conservation. A new study puts a looming deadline: 2099.
If you like looking at adorable penguin photos on the Internet, you may finally be doing it for a good cause.
A huge number, 150,000, of Adélie penguins have disappeared from Antarctica's Commonwealth Bay. A recent study tied the occurrence to a giant iceberg that grounded in the area, isolating the penguins and causing them to starve to death. But critics are challenging that claim, suggesting that the birds relocated, instead.
When a giant iceberg crashed down in Commonwealth Bay, Antarctica, in 2010 it isolated a colony of Adélie penguins. Having to trek much farther for food, 150,000 penguins have died, putting the colony at risk of extinction.
Following the arrival of gentoo penguins along the West Antarctic Peninsula, native Adelie penguins have experienced population declines. However, researchers are unsure whether increased food competition among the two species or climate change is ultimately to blame.
The Adélie penguins in East Antarctica like rocky areas free of snow and ice, so they happen to increasing in number as a result of the more ice-free coastlines from climate warming. It is still unclear how warming temperatures will affect their krill food sources, though.