Thousands of baby penguins starve to death in Antarctica

  • 28 Oct - 03 Nov, 2017
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Mag Files

Thousands of tiny baby penguins starved after changing weather forced their parents to trudge across Antarctica in search of food amid the changing climate.

A colony of 18,000 pairs of Adélie penguins in Terre Adélie, Antarctica suffered the catastrophic breeding failure earlier this year, according to the WWF. The incident happened because unusually extensive sea ice forced their parents to travel further in search of food, leaving their chicks at home to starve, a reminder of the horrifying effects of the changing climate.

The penguins are known as one of the hardiest creatures on the Earth. But they are now feeling the horrifying effects of global warming, with campaigners warning that the event should force people to take notice of their problems.

Though Adelie penguins are generally doing well in East Antarctica, where they mostly eat krill, a small shrimp like crustacean. Buy they are declining in the peninsula, where the effects of climate change are already being felt.

Four years ago, the same colony had another, similar catastrophic shock. It consisted of 20,196 pairs then and not a single one was able to produce a chick. That time around, unusual amounts of sea ice combined with warm weather and rain, before a rapid drop in temperature. Many of the chicks became saturated and froze to death.