Nature Science

150,000 Penguins Died After Colony Was Trapped By A Huge Iceberg


Around 150,000 penguins died after their colony was cut off 6 years ago on the coast of Antarctica as stated by the Antarctic science journal.

The iceberg which measured about 1,120 square miles and tagged B09B iceberg had cut off the source of food for the penguin and also resulted in a change in their colony’s landscape as reported by the Cambridge university press.

The high mass of ice water initially floated around the Antarctica coast for over 20 years before finally hitting the bay at around the year 2010. The penguins became landlocked and had to walk for over 30 miles before locating food.

The colony which once housed 160,000 Adelie penguins currently contains only 10,000 Adelie penguins.

The population of the colony has been reducing continuously and scientists believed that the colony would disappear completely within the next 20 years if sea ice does not break the iceberg responsible.

Satellite images show that there was a serious reduction in the number of penguins living in the area with their current population estimated to be 5,500 pairs.

Fortunately, there exists a colony of Adelie penguins just 5 miles away from Commonwealth. In the event that the Adelie penguins in the Antarctica gets completely wiped off, these other Adelie penguins would live on. It is believed that an estimated 30 percent of Adelie penguins breed in East Antarctica.

Ongoing research on the effect of the iceberg on the Adelie penguins would also afford scientists knowledge as regards how the increase in sea ice affects the penguin.

There is also fear that land animals, with time, would also be affected by climate change as well as feeding habits of larger marine predators.

Deglaciation has always been a factor with a direct effect on the existence of penguins. Scientists are however trying to keep a pace on the population of the penguins over a longer time.

Source: CNN