In the month of May 2022, the world learned the news of the great possibility and great risk of the disappearance of emperor penguins in the next thirty to forty years, due to the fact that global warming will severely affect Antarctica and the lives of these birds. It depends on the frozen sea to complete its life cycle.
The warning was given by an expert from the Argentine Antarctic Institute (IAA), who added at the time that “when this ice shelf is disturbed, the little penguins may not be feathered, they may not be ready to go to sea, their necks unstable. They are disarmed.” The ground on which the colony is supported.
Now, the British Antarctic Survey reports that, thanks to images from space, it has discovered a colony of penguins considered endangered in one of the most inhospitable regions of Antarctica, leaving great hope for their future survival.
British researchers discovered the result when they compared satellite images taken by the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission and the MAXAR WorldView-3 satellite. The evidence that led to the discovery is unique. As The Guardian reports, the researchers found the bird colony following a trail of fecal smears, visible on the snow.
This group of emperor penguins is the 66th found in Antarctica, in this case at Verleger Point, an area to the west of that continent. Of the mentioned quantity, half of it was discovered thanks to the use of satellite images.
Dr Peter Fretwell, one of the researchers who led the study from the British Antarctic Survey, noted the new discovery as exciting, although he stressed, “This colony is small and located in an area heavily affected by melting ice. If the ice breaks before that, it falls out.” The chicks are in the water and drown or freeze.”