Adelies Are Doing Fine, Despite What the BBC Say

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By Paul Homewood

According to the BBC, scientists have revealed a 43% decline in a large Adélie penguin population off the east Antarctic coast over the past decade.

It’s believed several years of extensive ice near the penguin colony was the trigger – despite an overall reduction of ice around Antarctica.

They report that scientists are unsure if the population will be able to recover.

WOW!! No more Adelies. That is scary.

But being the BBC, they conveniently did not tell you the whole story, which the Guardian did:

Scientists at the Australian Antarctic Division have recorded a severe decline in a population of Adélie penguins off the east Antarctic coast.

Long-term monitoring has revealed a 43% drop over a decade in the number of birds that breed across 52 islands near the Mawson research station.

The scientists say the decline is a stark contrast to other Adélie penguin populations in east Antarctica where numbers have been stable or increasing.,across%2052%20islands%20near%20the%20Mawson%20research%20station.

The survey only covered a very tiny area around Mawson Base. Over East Antarctica as whole Adelie populations are stable or increasing.

There is nothing new at all about penguin population crashes in micro-locations, when fast ice expands, which often happens when an iceberg grounds off the coast.

When this happens, Adelies simply migrate to other sites nearby. When a similar incident took place a few years ago in Commonwealth Bay, another colony just 8km away was found to be thriving:

And another study found that the breeding population of Adelies in East Antarctica had grown by 53% since 1993, and that 13 new colonies had been found. Like most animals, penguins are extremely adaptable.

The BBC of course would rather you focus on the cute, cuddly chicks who are going to die of starvation. But unfortunately, Mother Nature can be very cruel.


    November 24, 2022

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