Mega Colonies Of 1.5 Million Adélie Penguins Discovered In Antarctica

Mega Colonies Of 1.5 Million Adélie Penguins Discovered In Antarctica

In Antarctica, scientists on the Islands of Danger found a colony of 1.5 million Adelie penguins.

Their results, published this month in the journal Scientific Reports, show that there are now more than 750,000 breeding pairs of Adélie penguins in the Danger Islands-more than the rest of Antarctica combined.

Four years ago, Ms Lynch teamed up with Mathew Schwaller from NASA and examined satellite images that hinted at a curiously large number of penguins in the area.

This may have been due to their remoteness and the hard waters that surround them: even in the summer, anyone trying to reach the islands can expect to deal with thick sea ice. A brand-new colony of the birds has been discovered in the remote Danger Islands, which aren't actually all that risky to penguins, but which are remote enough to keep scientists from discovering their inhabitants for decades. "Governments need to seize the historic opportunity before them to put penguins like these ones on the Danger Islands out of harm's way".

But a boatload of researchers managed to get to the islands in December 2015, and they counted the penguins by manually counting individual nests and also counting nests using panoramic photos taken by drones.

"The drone lets you fly in a grid over the island, taking pictures once per second".

"The waters around the Danger Islands have been free from the pressures of krill fishing and have thrived".

The survey revealed that Danger Islands is home to a total of 751,527 pairs of Adélie penguins, which include the world's third and fourth largest colonies. "You can then stitch them together into a huge collage that shows the entire landmass in 2D and 3D", says co-PI Hanumant Singh, Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Northeastern University.

For years, scientists thought Adélie penguins - one of the most common species in the Antarctic Peninsula - faced a population decline. He also designed algorithms to scan the collected images and identify the location of penguin nesting sites.

"We want to understand why".

The discovery was published Friday in the Scientific Reports journal.

Evidence of the previously-unknown penguin colony first emerged in data from the Landsat Earth-monitoring satellites run by NASA and the US Geological Survey.

The researchers said that the findings highlight the importance of protecting the area.

Danger Islands expedition team members on Heroina Island, Danger Islands, Antarctica. "Sustenance accessibility? That is something we don't have the foggiest idea", she says.

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