Alarm bells are ringing among experts all around the world as a result of a dramatic fall in the population of Adélie penguins on the east Antarctic coast. The Australian Antarctic Division’s monitoring found that over a ten-year period, the number of birds that breed on 52 islands close to the Mawson research station had decreased by 43%.
According to reports, other Adélie penguin populations in east Antarctica have seen stable or growing people. Additionally, it goes against predictions made by models that the Adélie population would keep growing. From 2010 to 2020, seabird ecologists reportedly conducted annual island surveys along a 100 km length of coastline. From 176,622 to 99,946 occupied nests were counted, a decrease of around 77,000 nests or 154,000 breeding birds.
According to a study published in Global Change Biology, the fall in Adélie populations occurred simultaneously when “quick ice” grew. It speaks of the ice-bound to the land but covers the ocean. According to the researchers, the population had 80,000 fewer fledglings during a productive breeding season than it did at its peak in the early 2000s. The research said that “an increased frequency of extensive summer ice across the study period led to poor breeding conditions and as the population declined, resulted in an overall reduction in chick productivity.”
Fast ice has decreased generally in Antarctica, but scientists have noticed regional variety, with some regions seeing decreases and others seeing increases.
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