EAST ANTARCTICA AND MASS STARVATION OF BEAUTIFUL PENGUINS
WHEN WE WILL FINALLY DO SOMETHING TO STOP GLOBAL HORROR?
“It is practically impossible to look at a penguin and feel angry”
It is not possible to compare the beauty of different animals, especially when the fact is that they are all so priceless and important. However, seeing penguins make me feel so happy, like that I caught the moment of life itself. They are so cute, adorable and positive. No matter what is happening around me, one look at that creature in black and white can bring a smile on my face. Their peaceful profile has inspired the cozy toys of my childhood and thinking of them as about endangered species, immediately colors my mood in dark.
Penguins are flightless birds that are covered with short, dense feathers that keep them warm since they are most of the time in water or experiencing not so warm weather conditions. In spite of the common belief that they only live in the Northern Hemisphere, penguins live only in the Southern Hemisphere. Of the 17 penguin species, just a few live and nest in Antarctica. The majority of them could be found on the southern edges of Africa, Australia, and South America and near the Equator. This geographical point is very important to keep on mind because there are tabloids that write about polar bears which eat penguins but it is not true. The polar bears live on the Northern Hemisphere, far away from the Southern one so the two species do not meet each other.
The latest warnings about endangered penguins actually came out from the scientists that follow the situation in the east Antarctica and the breeding capacity of Adelie penguins: ”French scientists, supported by WWF, have been studying a colony of 18,000 pairs of Adelie penguins in East Antarctica since 2010 and discovered only two chicks survived the most recent breeding season in early 2017.They attributed the disaster to extensive sea ice late in the summer, meaning the adult penguins had to travel further to find food, with the chicks dying as they waited.Yan Ropert-Coudert, senior penguin scientist at Dumont D’Urville research station, adjacent to the colony, said the region was impacted by environmental changes linked to the breakup of the Mertz glacier:”
The poor animals have faced up with many factors that influenced their breeding season. First, the breakup of the Mertz glacier has changed the complete configuration of the sea. Second, it caused the differences in wind strength and dangerous variations in temperature. The worst was the opening of so-called polynya, area of unfrozen sea within an ice pack, in the front of colony. The climate changes have directed the destiny of these penguins since their natural food has been reduced and even removed from the original habitat. This forced parents to travel more than 120 km to seek the food for their newborn. Sometimes it took a time to find something, to get back to the young penguins, and to provide them food. Many have starved to death, waiting for parents to come back with nutrition. So many eggs have been unhatched and so many chicks died across the region known as Adelie Land. The brave parents did not manage to save their babies and to give them future. The picture of dying chicks and cold eggs is the most devastating ecological event recently.
The disturbing image of failed breeding time in east Antarctica have alarmed the experts, responsible authorities and people around the world. The news are screaming about the urgently need that something must be done. The European Union will discuss this issue in Hobart at the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). Last year the members of Convention agreed to build the world´s largest marine sanctuary that will cover more than 1.55 million square kilometers (600,000 square miles) in the Ross Sea area of Antarctica and to open the debate about the next protecting area of East Antarctica. The goal is to create the territory that will be free from krill fisheries so the Adelie penguins do not need to compete for food and to have again the risk of failing in breeding and raising up young generations. Australia is supporting this project for years but it must be coordinated with other countries and members of WWF too. The Marine Protected Area for the waters of East Antarctica must be approved as soon as possible because the time is running out. The catastrophe of this kind is not the first one that targeted the penguin population. Back in 2013 was so horrible that no chick survived. The ups and downs in the environmental conditions have shaped the life conditions of penguins and put them on the list of endangered animals.
The happy feet are fighting for survival and the human kind is still blind for the suffering of the fellow Earthlings. For how long we will close our eyes to the ecological apocalypse, we are causing ourselves? For how long we will be silent about crimes against nature and wildlife? I believe it will take an eternity that we learn from our sins and to change this planet for a better. It does not belong to us and animals are supposed to share it with us, enjoying their own freedom and right to live and produce themselves without being killed by greedy human beings.
We don’t have time to negotiate with those who lost themselves in rat race. We have to negotiate with Mother Nature and to try all we can to stop demolition and to protect the endangered species around this globe.
The innocent penguins deserve our action and all possible attempts to make a safe environment for those dancing feet that have never caused difficulties to the humankind. It is enough with excuses and political brainless strategies; it is time for reasonable projects that will gather the most responsible people and professionals that are able to deal with environmental risks and challenges.
The Adelie penguins are losing the battle with life. Lets help them, lets save them all.
3 thoughts on “THE TERRIBLE END OF BEGINNING – ADELIE PENGUINS AND CATASTROPHIC BREEDING SEASON”
What a melancholic story ! Thank you so much, Sarah, for presenting, herein, the reality about those poor Penguins in an effort to save them !
For years and years, I have been discussing and expressing my deep concerns about global warming and the environment !
I was disheartened when I discovered that so many states, such as Florida and so many others, do not impose a deposit on bottles and cans ! The result is that people don’t feel the need to return/recycle them, as there is no monetary value associated with these items ! Instead, in those states, most people just throw the bottles and cans in the trash, thereby compounding the global warming problem! What a shame !
We must take all measures in order to secure a safe future for those poor and innocent Penguins ! They deserve it, and it’s the least we can do for them ! In fact, we owe it to them !
In closing, what better words than yours, Sarah:”It is enough with excuses and political brainless strategies; it is time for reasonable projects that will gather the most responsible people and professionals that are able to deal with environmental risks and challenges.”
May you always be blessed, Sarah ! Thank you for all your good deeds !
Sarah’s moving and imperative article reminded me of Episode 1 of Planet Earth (2006) by the BBC Natural History Unit led by Sir David Attenborough: during Antarctica’s winter, Emperor Penguins endure four months of darkness, with no food, in temperatures of around -70oc (-94 °F).
In 2012, the Emperor Penguin was redefined from a species of ‘Least Concern’ to ‘Near Threatened’, by The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Along with nine other species of penguin, it is currently under consideration for inclusion under the present US-Endangered Species Act; although, US-President Donald Trump does not endorse such things.
The primary causes for an increased risk of species endangerment are declining food availability, due to the effects of climate change and industrial fisheries on the crustacean and fish populations. Other reasons for the species’ placement on the Endangered Species Act’s list include disease, habitat destruction and disturbance at breeding colonies by humans. Of particular concern is the impact of tourism. One study concluded that Emperor Penguin chicks in a crèche become more apprehensive following helicopter approach to 1,000 m (3,281 ft).
Population declines of 50% in The Terre Adélie region have been observed due to increased adult mortality (especially of males), during an abnormally prolonged warm period in the late-1970s, which resulted in reduced sea-ice coverage. Contrary to this, egg hatching success rates declined when the sea-ice extent increased. The species is considered to be highly sensitive to climatic changes. In 2009, The Dion Islands colony of Emperor Penguins (which has been extensively studied since 1948) was reported to have disappeared at some point over the previous decade; the first confirmed loss of a colony.
A Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Massachusetts, USA) study in January of 2009 found that Emperor Penguins could be pushed to the brink of extinction by the year 2100, due to global climate change. The study constructed a mathematical model to predict how the loss of sea ice from climate warming would affect a large colony of Emperor Penguins at Terre Adélie, Antarctica. The study forecasted an 87% decline in the colony’s population, from 3,000 breeding pairs in 2009 to 400 breeding pairs in 2100.
In June of 2014, a study by The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution concluded that Emperor Penguins are at risk from global warming, which is melting the sea ice. This study predicted that by 2100 all 45 colonies of Emperor Penguins will be declining in numbers; mostly, due to loss of habitat. Loss of ice reduces the supply of krill, which is a primary food for Emperor Penguins.
The root of your writing while appearing reasonable originally, did not settle properly with me after some time. Someplace within the paragraphs you actually were able to make me a believer but only for a short while. I still have a problem with your jumps in logic and you might do well to fill in those gaps. If you can accomplish that, I would surely end up being impressed.