Antarctic’s Halley Bay region was once an important area for a penguin, but its numbers are now waning, a new study found.
British Survey of Antarctica (BAS) revealed that thousands of small “Emperor” penguins have disappeared in the Gulf of Halley during the past three years.
In the study, the researchers analyzed the satellite images of the area and discovered remarkable changes in the conditions of the sea ice.
The emperor penguins require a sea ice from April when the birds arrive until December, to reproduce, but in 2016, a period of stormy weather led to the collapse of the sea ice in October, before the young penguins matured for a long time.
Unfortunately, the same thing happened in 2017, and again in 2018, leading to death of almost all penguins, and this resulted in the loss of the entire colony of Halley Bay.
Fortunately, many of the birds seem to have moved to nearby Dawson Lambton Colony to practice their lives.
“It is impossible to say whether changes in the conditions of the sea ice in Gulf of Halley are specifically related to climate change, but this failure to reproduce successfully has never been seen on this site,” said Phil Trathan, an expert on penguins at BAS and co-author.
According to published data, the numbers of emperor penguins will drop dramatically, with 50-70 percent of their numbers lost before the end of this century as sea ice conditions as a result of climate change.