LSU scientists 'discover' 1.5 million penguins on Antarctic isles

04 March 2018, 03:38 | Santos Harmon

Previously unknown 'supercolony' of Adélie penguins discovered in Antarctica


It is also the only island to date with a population estimate (285,000-305,000) derived from a ground survey of the island.

Researchers have found huge "mega-colonies" of penguins on the Danger Islands of Antarctica.

"Until recently, the Danger Islands weren't known to be an important penguin habitat", said Heather Lynch, an ecologist at Stony Brook University who was one of the senior authors on the study.

A 2015 expedition discovered a massive number of birds.

Once the research team got confirmation via Landsat that the penguins likely populate the islands, they chose to try to make the trip and count the birds by hand. It's also the middle of the breeding season for penguins, which helped in counting them. Though they are not especially uncommon, scientists have been concerned that their Antarctic population has been on a steady decline for the last 40 years.

However, in 2014, while analysing Nasa's existing satellite images of the islands, Lynch and Nasa's Mathew Schwaller found tell-tale poop stains, indicating the presence of a mysteriously large number of penguins in the area.

That was no easy feat; even at its warmest, these waters are full of thick sea ice that makes it hard for ships to make it through.

Funeral homes invite public to help honor Rev. Billy Graham
It will be a tribute to the 1949 Los Angeles tent revivals that made Graham famous, said family spokesman Mark DeMoss. Capitol police officers who died in the line of duty protecting congressmen and civilians inside the Capitol in 1998.

Larry Nance Jr. to wear father's No. 22 for Cavaliers
However, he didn't quite get the production from the supporting cast that he had received in the last couple of games. Heading into the All-Star Break, Memphis dropped a shootout to the Oklahoma City Thunder, 121-114, at the FedExForum.

Chadwick Boseman buys out Black Panther theatre screening for hometown kids
The film stars Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa, who is the protector and King of Wakanda , a fictional advanced nation. So, when you put all those aspects of a person together, you get one heck of a weirdo that's for sure.

The Danger Islands are on the eastern side of the northernmost point of the peninsula, and while that means the area might be subject to warmer temperatures, Polito said that the warming trend seems to be buffered by their location on the edge of the Weddell Sea.

"When we first got these pixels of guano, I thought it might be a false alarm", Lynch told The Wall Street Journal (paywall), adding, "It wasn't".

The study has further implications for conservation, as it suggests that the small cluster of islands could serve as a valuable refuge for the penguin species in the region. It would be the biggest populace of Adelie penguins on the Antarctica promontory, and recommends that this species is completing a great deal superior to anything scientists expected in spite of decreases on the western side of the Antarctic landmass because of environmental change.

"The drone lets you fly in a grid over the island, taking pictures once per second".

An accurate update on the size of the population of this supercolony also provides an invaluable benchmark for future change, noted Jenouvrier.

The discovery cements the idea that climate change was behind the decline of penguin populations on the western side of the peninsula, Polito said. "We want to understand why". An impenetrable barrier of sea ice typically isolates the nesting areas from fishing fleets intent on harvesting the krill. "Food availability? That's something we don't know", she says.

Other News

Trending Now

Ronda Rousey Makes a Big Impact During Contract Signing
During the segment, it was revealed that Rousey will have a match at WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans. Camera IconTriple H separates Ronda Rousey and Stephanie McMahon .

Punjab CM's son-in-law among 13 booked for bank fraud
The investigation agency has filed two FIRs against Inder Chand Chundawat, former senior branch manager at PNB's Barmer branch. In the aftermath of the Punjab National Bank scam, banks have now become more pro-active in sending complaints to the CBI.

The NBA will fine Mark Cuban $600000 for his comments on tanking
Cuban told the magazine the team was establishing a hotline for counseling and support services for past and current employees. I just had dinner with a bunch of our guys the other night, and here we are. we weren't competing for the playoffs.

Suspected serial killer targeting Toronto gay community now faces six murder charges
Police identified the sixth suspected victim as Skandaraj Navaratnam, who disappeared in Toronto on Labour Day weekend in 2010. Idsinga said police may return to that scene in warmer weather to see if police dogs have further success in scouring the area.

US Treasury chief says Russian Federation sanctions to come within weeks
The new package of sanctions is the latest measure to try to pressure North Korea into giving up its nuclear arms programs. On December 28, Trump tweeted: "Caught RED HANDED - very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea".

Pac-Man, Super Mario Odyssey And More
The update also includes new outfits and snapshot filters and Nintendo added that more new outfits will be released in the future. It's a great way to make use of all the fun secret areas you discovered while playing through the game the first time.

Venezuela launches its oil-backed crypto-currency, the petro
The Latin American country has the world's largest proven oil reserves but is facing a crippling economic and political crisis. However, using a cryptocurrency for foreign transactions will not solve Venezuela's extreme economic problems.

India treating Donald Trump Jr's trip as a 'private visit'
According to a financial disclosure report , India is the Trump Organization's largest market outside the United States . Bansal on Monday declined to comment on whether this week's dinners in India will replace the NY event.

Chelsea frustrate Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi like no other side
Valverde insists his opposite number has proved in several jobs throughout his career, that he is one of the best managers around. Quoted by the Guardian , Hazard said: "If you want to be one of the best, you have to play well in the big games".

Sony Corp. to Launch an AI-based Taxi-Hailing Service in Japan
Khosrowshahi says that Japan looks like an "incredible opportunity", but Uber's approach has failed to yield the desired results. Last November the ride-sharing company announced a partnership with NASA in their efforts to take their app to the skies.