Largest King Penguin Colony Population Has Declined Drastically
Largest King Penguin Colony Population Has Declined Drastically

Largest King Penguin Colony Population Has Declined Drastically

Compared to 500,000 breeding pairs in the 1980s, only 60,000 penguin pairs now remain.

Sukanya Charuchandra
Sukanya Charuchandra

Originally from Mumbai, Sukanya Charuchandra is a freelance science writer based out of wherever her travels take her. She holds master’s degrees in Science Journalism and Biotechnology. You can read...

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Jul 31, 2018

ABOVE: ©ISTOCK, SERENGETI130

The second-largest penguin population in the world has lost 88 percent of its members, researchers reported last week (July 25) in Antarctic Science. The penguins live on Ile aux Cochons (Pig Island), which lies in the southern Indian Ocean between Africa and Antartica.  

The decline “is completely unexpected, and particularly significant since this colony represented nearly one third of the king penguins in the world,” coauthor Henri Weimerskirch, an ecologist at the Centre for Biological Studies in France, tells Agence France-Presse.

Weimerskirch and his colleagues used aerial and satellite imagery to analyze changes in the colony size over the last five decades. Since the 1980s, the world’s largest king penguin population has shrunk from 500,000 breeding pairs to only 60,000 breeding pairs. 

According to CNN, the decline appears to have begun in the late 1990s, around the same time as an El...

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Largest King Penguin Colony Population Has Declined Drastically

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