Study Finds Steep Decline In Some Antarctic Penguin Colonies

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Study Finds Steep Decline In Some Antarctic Penguin Colonies
As ocean temperatures rise and sea ice melts, researchers say penguins are losing their main food source, krill.
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Penguin populations in parts of the Antarctic are in serious decline, according to a new colony survey.

Independent researchers accompanying Greenpeace on a recent expedition report that some colonies have declined by more than 75% in the last 50 years.

Researchers say the likely underlying cause of these colony declines is climate change. As ocean temperatures rise and sea ice melts, researchers say penguins are losing their main food source, krill.

Chinstrap penguins are showing the largest declines, with a 77% drop recorded in one colony since the last survey in 1971.

Researchers say this data suggests that the ecosystem in the region has "fundamentally changed" and that the impacts of such change are causing ripples up the food chain.