An iceberg killed 150,000 penguins because it blocked their only way towards food.
(Mirror Daily, United States) – An iceberg killed 150,000 penguins in the Antarctic. The giant piece of ice stranded a colony of 160,000 penguins approximately 6 years ago. Since then, the colony now counts almost 10,000 individuals.
The University Press of Cambridge published this February a report that concludes that the BO9B iceberg killed 150,000 penguins since it lodged off six years ago and blocked their food supplies.
The iceberg in question measures around 1,120 miles, which is roughly the size of New England’s Rhode Island. The BO9B lodged of because of the continuous rise in temperature and managed to block the penguins leaving them without food or means of escape.
The Titanic-sinking giant block of ice has been floating around for twenty years, but in 2010, it approached Commonwealth Bay’s Cape Denison area. The giant mass of ice collided with the coastal area and blocked the penguins’ access to food. This obligated the fluffy flightless birds to walk 40 miles in order to find food. In the last six years, 150,000 individuals died.
The researchers have predicted that the entire colony will perish in less than twenty years if the iceberg is not broken up by exterior factors like sea ice.
According to the Australian Research Center for Climate Change at the New South Wales University, the population of the Adelie penguins in Cape Denison begun to drastically decrease ever since 2011.
Approximately 5,500 pairs of Adelie penguins are still breeding, according to the researchers that studied them. But the species will not die with the Cape Denison individuals. Only five miles away there is another flourishing colony. Their presence serves to prove that the only culprit for the drastic decrease in numbers is the stray iceberg.
The effects of the BO9B iceberg on the Adelie penguins in Cape Denison give climate researchers a clue to the effects of global warming. The area has seen a significant increase of sea ice in the last decades.
The researchers at the Australian Research Center for Climate Change predict significant environmental changes in the Southern Ocean. These major changes will impact the marine predators and prey. Climate Change can trigger changes in the habitats that are used by land creatures for breeding. Certain species migrate a long way in order to breed in a specific place.
According to the scientists that are currently studying the impact of the increased sea ice on the population of Adelie penguins, the most important thing is to focus on the overall population, not on isolated cases. And the Adelie penguins are, allegedly, doing well. So even though an iceberg killed 150,000 penguins, the species is not threatened.
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