Navigation Links
Human influences challenge penguin populations
Date:6/30/2008

The ecology of penguins makes these iconic swimming and diving seabirds of the Southern Hemisphere unusually susceptible to environmental changes. Pronounced warming in the Antarctic, as well as commercial fishing, mining, and oil and gas development at lower latitudes, has led to declines in many species, according to P. Dee Boersma, of the University of Washington in Seattle. In the July/August 2008 issue of BioScience, Boersma provides a first-person account based on 30 years of studying the birds. Counts of the penguin populations at the 43 remaining breeding "hotspots," even once every five years, could provide valuable insights into the variability of the ocean ecosystem and the populations' viability, Boersma writes. Yet counts are carried out only rarely, if at all.

The task is urgent, because many populations seem to be in rapid decline even as some temperate populations have expanded their range southward. Rapid reductions of sea ice off Antarctica in recent years threaten Adlie and emperor penguins, which need ice, but may benefit some populations of relatively ice-intolerant gentoo and chinstrap penguins. Increased snow and rain, another result of the changing climate, reduce breeding success in some gentoo and Adlie penguins.

Temperate penguins, such as Galpagos, Peruvian, and African species, are all declining. Mining of guano, egg harvesting, commercial fishing, and oil spills are the chief causes, according to Boersma, although tourism and increasingly severe El Nio events, probably resulting from climate change, are also partly responsible.

The threats to all penguin species are likely to grow in coming years. Boersma recommends the formation of a nongovernmental organization dedicated to monitoring major aggregations of penguins. Such an organization could provide advance warning of urgent threats and thus make amelioration possible.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jennifer Williams
jwilliams@aibs.org
202-628-1500
American Institute of Biological Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Nanotubes could help study retrovirus transmission between human cells
2. Newly identified role for power plants in human cells could lead to targeted therapies
3. Technique used in human ankle injuries modified to treat dogs knees
4. Synthetic cocoa chemical slows growth of tumors in human cell lines
5. Human Genomics and Proteomics
6. Metagenomics of skin reveals insights into the human microbiome
7. Gene mutations in mice mimic human-like sleep disorder, UT Southwestern researchers find
8. New study links fate of personal care products to environmental pollution and human health concerns
9. NASA study links Earth impacts to human-caused climate change
10. Human vision inadequate for research on bird vision
11. Fruit fly avoidance mechanism could lead to new ways to control pain in humans
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/10/2016)...   Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS ) today ... is testing its biometric identity solution at the Otay Mesa ... help identify certain non-U.S. citizens leaving the country. ... help determine the efficiency and accuracy of using biometric technologies ... run until May 2016. --> the United ...
(Date:3/3/2016)... MONTEREY, Calif. , March 3, 2016  FlexTech, ... in the categories of Innovation, Research & Development, Leadership ... Industry Leadership. This is the 9 th year ... select group of companies and individuals from past ... nominations based on a pre-described set of criteria, by ...
(Date:3/1/2016)... DUBLIN , March 1, 2016 ... has announced the addition of the  ... 2015-2019"  report to their offering. ... announced the addition of the  "Global ...  report to their offering. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... SPRING, Md. and RESEARCH TRIANGLE ... Therapeutics Corporation (NASDAQ: UTHR ) announced today ... Executive Officer, of United Therapeutics will provide an overview ... Bank 41 st Annual Health Care Conference. ... 5, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, and can ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... MD (PRWEB) , ... April 27, 2016 , ... ... Greg Lamka, PhD to its Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Lamka will assist PathSensors ... plant pathogen detection. , PathSensors deploys the CANARY® test platform for the ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... , ... April 27, 2016 , ... Global Stem ... endorsement of an Asia-Pacific Symposium as other research and development initiatives for potential stem ... officials and top Global Stem Cells Group executives began meeting to establish a working ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... Cameron Cushman has joined ... in the firm’s Intellectual Property practice group. , Clients turn to Cushman for ... has an electrical engineering and computer engineering background, and experience in the medical ...
Breaking Biology Technology: