Climate change is directly affecting the Adélie, Chinstrap and gentoo penguin species in the Antarctic Peninsula, as it quickly advances through the planet and affects many other species, but these ones being the most affected ones.
As reported by Scientific American, from the Scotia Sea to Argentina and Chile coasts, the lands are warming five times the rate of the planet, where temperatures have risen to an average of 6 to 7 °C. So, the warmer weather is the responsible of the decreasing of the amount of Sea ice and the shortening of an ice-forming period up to 90 days. It is very alarming.
All the described problems lead to a bigger one: the decreases in sea ice are making feeding difficult for these penguins.
Adelie and chinstrap species used to eat krills and shrimp-like crustaceans, but these sources had problems to eat like the penguins. And the amount of localized fishing is bad for them.
This difficult to find the food they used to eat had obligated the Penguin species to migrate to other regions in order to find the necessary feeding to survive. That’s why people see with surprise the invasion of penguins in unusual places for them.
“People are saying, ‘Look at the penguin populations on the peninsula; we don’t know why that’s happening, and even if it is just climate change, we have to not fish there because of the effect of climate change.’ That is the thing we can eliminate while we try to figure out this whole climate thing,” said Andrea Kavanagh, director of the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Global Penguin Conservation Campaign.
A penguin expert and ecologist, Bill Fraser, said that “This is important because the advance and retreat of sea ice acts as a sort of engine that drives more Antarctic marine ecosystem processes, not the least of which are the aspects of the ecology of the three penguin species. It is fair to say these species are the canaries in the coal mine of Antarctic climate change, super-sensitive to even subtle changes in the system because their life histories play out in a finely tuned balance between the availability of sea ice and open water”.
On purpose, South Africa is celebrating the world Penguin day! Penguins can be found in Seal Island in False Bay, Geyser Rock next to Dyer Island and Vondeling Island, living with the Cape fur seal.
Source: Scientific American