Case of the Receding Rockhoppers

The rockhopper penguin population in the Falkland Islands has been dropping in recent years – 180,000 birds less in six years. Scientists and researchers say they aren’t sure what is causing them population levels to decline so rapidly but global warming may have a possible connection.

“All around the world from New Zealand to the Falklands there used to be all these huge colonies. Populations separated by 1,000km of sea are all crashing. It’s an astonishing decline, the populations have just crashed over the last few decades and we really don’t know why. It’s quite sinister, we have got millions of penguins just disappearing. There must be some major big thing going wrong in the eco-system. We did see some clues [in the feathers study] and the finger is tentatively pointing at global warming.”

– Dr. Geoff Hilton

I think we have all noticed an overall dramatic change in environmental events around the globe (Indian Ocean tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, etc…). Some scientists have claimed global warming as an accomplice to help set the stage for these disasters to occur. I’m not saying they’re right or wrong, but there does seem to be more and more evidence that would point in that general direction. Research in this area should possibly be taken more seriously. Missing penguins aside, this is the only Earth we’ve got.

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Filed under Animals, News, Penguin, Sad

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