“Happy feet” indeed!

about 2 months ago
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While we read with a lot of trepidation about how the glaciers in Antarctica and snow caps in Canada are fast disappearing, here is some small bit of “happy feet” news.

Satellite images have revealed 11 new colonies of emperor penguins in Antarctica, increasing the number of known colonies of the birds by 20%. The new breeding sites are all in locations where recent model projections suggest emperor penguins will decline. Each of these colonies has some 100 penguins, which is a small colony but a new one nevertheless.

Emperor penguins are the only penguins that breed on Antarctic sea ice, which is ever moving and being so remote, very difficult to study. This breed is extremely vulnerable to the climate crisis and hence it is heartening to note that there has actually been an increase in population. This discovery increases the total population of these penguins by a smaller proportion of about 5-10%.

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