150,000 penguins and counting are dying due to the collapse of the gigantic B096 iceberg. The Adelie penguin’s food supply has dwindled. Their habitat destroyed. All after this icy mass-1,120 square miles (60 km) in size- crashed into Cape Denison, Antarctica. The crash has led to what penguin experts call “a catastrophic breeding failure”, for the Adelie penguin colonies outside of Commonwealth Bay.
What is the Adelie penguin?
The Adelie penguin, is the most recognized penguin in popular culture.
It’s your go to penguin when you’re hunting for Antarctica facts on Wikipedia. The Adelie is the bird on the frozen continent (And if you’re confused YES penguins are birds).
And for a good reason, they are extraordinarily hardy creatures. They waddle over 31 miles each spring to build colonies for breeding, and swim the distance of 185 miles in a single year. These male and female Adelie penguins also share child-rearing responsibility. Yes, the male Adelie penguin is the original stay-at-home dad; sitting atop the eggs protecting their children during Antarctica’s harsh winter, and rearing them after they are hatched.
These sleek swimmers who feed on shrimp-like krill, steal rocks from their neighbors nests and can swim at nine weeks have been marked ‘at risk’ for extinction.
Why are penguins facing extinction?
In reviewing the suspects for this ongoing penguin genocide, all evidence points to climate change, man-made breeding grounds and over-fishing. The collision of the B096 iceberg now puts this travesty in the headlines. In order to reverse this ordeal, action must be taken.
Warming temperatures, loss of ice is why the B096 iceberg crashed into the Adelie penguins’ home. The warming of earth is also causing massive ocean expansion throughout the Antarctic. Penguins will not be the only animals gone from our ecosystem, due to climate change, polar bears will be too!
Please, we don’t want to have to explain why this cuteness does not exist to our grandchildren.
How can action be taken?
Do you remember Oddball, the dog who was protecting penguins in Australia?
(if not READ here)
Or how unmanned drones can be used to track endangered species?
(If not, again READ here)
These stories drive home the idea that the best methods of protecting and preserving endangered species can be locally created, and/or technologically advanced. Yes, removing an iceberg that is the size of Rome would be an impossible venture now, but other methods can be taken, including making sure penguins do not die from other causes, and gathering more information on this climate disaster.
Imagine if overfishing was halted. Penguins’ already scarce food supply would increase, possibly leading to a pause in this catastrophe. Or use drones to examine penguin migration patterns, and chart the effects of sea ice expansion and maybe scientists would have the ability to help safeguard the at risk population and halt future disasters.
The important step humans can take is to make sure these penguins did not die in vain. Their deaths should be recognized as a global call to act on climate change. We, as global citizens, can use local ideas and technology to protect our beloved creatures. The penguins and all animals (including humans!) deserve our best efforts.