photo: lin padgham via flickr
Back in October of last year, WWF estimated that because of climate change penguin populations were going to face some serious declines: 50% of Emperor Penguins and 75% of Adelie Penguins could die if global temperatures rise 2°C.
The bad news is, a new report predicts an even worse future for Emperor Penguins:1200 Birds Left At End of Century
According to new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, by 2100 95% of Emperor Penguins are likely to die because of climate changes. This would mean that there would be about 600 breeding pairs left in the wild. The likelihood of this occuring is at least a one-in-three chance, but possibly more than eight out of ten. (BBC)
The reason: Emperors breed during the winter and make long treks across the sea ice, where they lay only one egg. As this ice melts, their breeding success could diminish. What’s more, the amount of sea ice cover influences the amount of krill and fish which are the Emperor’s food. Again, decreasing sea ice could mean decreasing food.