A new study found that an iceberg has impacted a thriving penguin colony on Antarctica.
Iceberg B09B has brought disaster over a penguin colony at Cape Denison, Antarctica. In 2011 over 160,000 Adelie penguins where living at the location that was ideal for them as open waters have been near.
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End of 2010 a giant iceberg landed in the Commonwealth Bay. The 2900 sq. km iceberg B090B increased the distance for the penguins to walk to reach open water and food to 60km. This circumstance caused the massive death toll over the past years according to Dr Kerry-Jayne Wilson of the West Coast Penguin Trust.
“Over the past five years the regional changes triggered by iceberg B09B have led to an order of magnitude decline in Adélie Penguin numbers and catastrophic breeding failure in comparison to the first counts undertaken by Mawson a century ago," Dr Kerry-Jayne Wilson said.
"It was heart wrenching to see the impact of the fast ice on the penguins. The normally noisy and aggressive Adélie penguins were so subdued they hardly acknowledged our intrusion into their realm. It was sad to walk amongst thousands of freeze dried chicks from the previous season and hundreds of abandoned eggs,” Dr Wilson added.
There is though a chance that things will improve again for the the penguins. Over the last year the fast ice associated with B09B has begun to break up in Commonwealth Bay.
Details of Adélie Penguins situation have been published in the paper titled "The impact of the giant iceberg B09B on population size and breeding success of Adélie penguins in Commonwealth Bay, Antarctica" in the journal Antarctic Science.
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