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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Researchers discover new Emperor Penguin colony

Scientists have found a brand new Emperor Penguin colony in Antarctica utilizing satellite tv for pc mapping expertise. This new colony makes a complete of 66 identified Emperor Penguin colonies across the shoreline of Antarctica; precisely half have been found by satellite tv for pc imagery.

The group studied photographs from the European Fee’s Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite tv for pc mission, which have been in comparison with and confirmed by excessive decision photographs from the Maxar WorldView-3 satellite tv for pc. They recognized the colony from the birds’ guano stains that are brown in colour, and simpler to establish alongside the ice and rock. The brand new website, at Verleger Level West Antarctica, homes round 500 birds and is situated at 74° 42’ S, 136° 11’W.

Emperor Penguins want sea ice to breed and are situated in areas which can be tough to check as a result of they’re distant and infrequently inaccessible and might expertise temperatures as little as -60°C (-76°F). For the final 15 years, British Antarctic Survey (BAS) scientists have been searching for new colonies by looking out satellite tv for pc imagery for his or her guano stains on the ice.

“That is an thrilling discovery,” says lead creator Peter Fretwell. “The brand new satellite tv for pc photographs of Antarctica’s shoreline have enabled us to seek out many new colonies. And while that is excellent news, like most of the just lately found websites, this colony is small and in a area badly affected by latest sea ice loss.”

Aerial imagery from the the Maxar WorldView-3 satellite tv for pc exhibits guano stains that point out the newly found penguin colony at Verleger Level. Satellite tv for pc picture © 2023 Maxar Applied sciences.

Emperor Penguins are identified to be weak to lack of sea ice, their favored breeding habitat. The latest tasks recommend that, below present warming tendencies, 80% of colonies shall be quasi-extinct by the top of the century.

Final 12 months, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed Emperor Penguins as threatened below the Endangered Species Act. Martha Williams, director of the company, mentioned: “The itemizing of the Emperor Penguin serves as an alarm bell but in addition a name to motion.”

The analysis was a part of the Wildlife from House venture, funded by UKRI-NERC with a contribution from WWF.

Copernicus Sentinel-2 is without doubt one of the satellite tv for pc missions that the European House Company develops and operates on behalf of the European Fee’s Copernicus environmental monitoring program. Sentinel-2 has been accumulating photographs of Antarctica since 2016 following the request from SCAR, the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Analysis. Maxar Applied sciences is a industrial satellite tv for pc supplier. The featured picture that confirmed the discover is a 30 cm decision WorldView-3 picture of the positioning dated October 18, 2021.

Due to the British Antarctic Survey for offering this information.

Marine Protected Areas in Antarctica ought to embrace younger Emperor Penguins, scientists say

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