The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Emperor Penguins Move Breeding Grounds Due to Diminishing Antarctic Sea Ice
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
Using satellite images, an international team of scientists tracked the four colonies from 2008 to 2012. In the first three years, the emperor penguins hatched and incubated eggs in their customary fashion—atop the sea ice that freezes during the Antarctic winter and spring. But in 2011 and 2012, sea ice did not form until a month after the breeding season began.
As a result, the emperor penguins—the largest penguin species on Earth—did something never before witnessed by scientists: they climbed up the nearly sheer walls of large, floating ice shelves—huge structures, often hundreds of square miles in extent, that flow from land-based glaciers into the sea.
In the region of the four colonies, the ice shelf walls reach as high as 100 feet, researchers say. The scientists say the altered breeding behavior could demonstrate how ice-dependent emperor penguins may adapt to life in a warming world.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The Trump administration has initialized the final steps to open up nearly 1.6 million acres of the protected Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge to allow oil and gas drilling.
A Florida man has been allowed to import a Tanzanian lion's skin, skull, claws and teeth, a first since the animal was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, according to US Fish and Wildlife Service records uncovered by the Center for Biological Diversity through the Freedom of Information Act.
A fracked natural gas well in northwest Louisiana has been burning for two weeks after suffering a blowout. A state official said the fire will likely burn for the next month before the flames can be brought under control by drilling a relief well.