Supercolony Of Penguins Discovered On Antarctic Island

Adelie penguins a species fast declining in parts of the world are one of five penguin species that live in and around the Antarctic continent

A previously unknown "supercolony" of more than 1.5 million penguins has been discovered by scientists in the Danger Islands, a chain of nine islands located off the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Animals inhabit rocky archipelago called unsafe island. It should stay that way.

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. "If what we see is true, it will be one of the largest colonies of Adelie penguins in the world and it will be worth it, so we sent an expedition there in order to correctly count".

Huge numbers of Adélie penguins were found on the Danger Islands on the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula, surprising scientists who thought their numbers were on a decline.

The proposal for an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary has been submitted by the European Union and will be considered when the Antarctic Ocean Commission next convenes, in October 2018.

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In the research paper, the scientists recommend that the islands be classified as a "penguin hotspot of significant conservation value", and that the area be given refuge status.

Plans are in place to expand the area to a 70,000 square miles (1.8 million square km) - or five times the size of Germany.

When the team got to the islands, they found thousands of penguins nesting at the landing site. By stitching together the pictures and using a neural network (AI) to identify and count the penguins, they tallied 1,500,000 penguins.

Scientists have just announced the discovery of a "supercolony" of Adélie penguins off the Antarctic Peninsula, which have lived undisturbed for almost 60 years.

Of course, Polito knew that he couldn't count the penguins by hand, as the counting would be inaccurate and extremely hard.

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The number of penguins in the Danger Islands could provide insight into the effects of changing temperature and sea ice on the region's ecology.

The researchers said that the findings highlight the importance of protecting the area.

One of those on the expedition, Michael Polito, from Louisiana State University, said the islands "appear to have not suffered the population declines found along the western side of Antarctic Peninsula that are associated with recent climate change".

The geography of the islands explains how these penguins, whose distinguishing features are the white rims around their eyes, have survived without detection: even in summer, the area is so "socked in with sea ice that it is very hard to get a ship through", Lynch also told the WSJ.

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