Monthly Archives: June 2008

Penguin Parade at Edinburgh Zoo

Daily penguin parade at Edinburgh zoo featuring Gentoo and King penguins.

[via PenguinsLand]

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Wiring penguins to keep watch on the food chain

As two major infrastructure projects get underway, the Phillip Island Nature Park is using satellite tracking devices to monitor its penguin colony for any adverse effects the projects will have on the ecosystem and the local food chain. The devices will be attached to seven Little Blues for one foraging trip and then taken off for study.

“Penguins always provide a good focal point for changes in the marine ecosystem … they are toward the top of the food chain, so any adverse effects tend to get multiplied as you go up the food chain.”

Peter Dann, Research Manager at Phillip Island Nature Park

The devices have been used on penguins before but they had never been tracked through winter which is one of their toughest times as they have to travel further to find food.

“This research is very important because we will get more detailed information on critical foraging habitats, which will help us protect and manage the habitat and help us find out more about the marine environment.”

Clare McCutcheon, Researcher

Phillip Island will be visible from the proposed site of the desalination plant and its brine output could have an impact on the penguins’ food source. They say that the penguins have some problems if the nutrient-rich waters from Antarctica fail to arrive on time.

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Oil-stained penguins wash up on Uraguayan coast

The dead bodies of some 100 oil-stained penguins washed up on Uruguay’s southern coast, and the South American country’s naval authorities were investigating their deaths Monday. The animals are Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus Magellanicus), some 70 centimetres tall and weighing about 5 kilogrammes, the authorities said. In the South American winter, these animals, which cannot fly, swim north to southern Brazil from the Patagonian coast.

It seemed likely that the animals got caught in an oil spill that was the result of a crash last week, some 20 kilometres off Montevideo’s coast. Some 14,000 litres of fuel oil leaked into the ocean as a result of a collision between a Greek-flagged ship and a Maltese vessel. However, the connection was not immediately confirmed. Naval authorities assisted by marine fauna experts were investigating the deaths of the animals, washed ashore over a stretch of some 250 kilometres between Montevideo and Rocha.

Man, what a horrible thing to hear. On the brighter side, some of the Megallanics are being washed and cared for by SOS-Marine Life Rescue. Even so, more penguin lives could still be taken.

Photos: Reuters

[via PenguinsLand]

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