Chinstrap penguin numbers have been reduced by more than half across Antarctica. A new study by Stony Brook University found there were 58% fewer breeding pairs than in 1971. Scientists are pointing to climate change as the cause of the species decline.

Chinstrap penguins are a great barometer of the health of their area, according to scientists. They are attuned to local conditions and rely on a single food source. Therefore, changes in the area would directly impact chinstrap penguins.

Advertisement

Dr. Heather J. Lynch, associate professor of ecology & evolution at Stony Brook University, and designer of the study, said of the changes, ” Such significant declines suggest that the Southern Ocean’s ecosystem is fundamentally changed from 50 years ago, and that the impacts of this are rippling up the food web to species like chinstrap penguins.”

Climate change has increased temperatures in the region. Recently recorded temperatures in the region reached above 65 degrees. Temperature fluctuations affect the sea ice, which in turn affects the food chain. Chinstrap penguins eat shrimp that live in the Antarctic waters.

Watch this video to learn more:

“While several factors may have a role to play, all the evidence we have points to climate change as being responsible for the changes we are seeing,” said Dr. Lynch.

Advertisement

Learn more about how to help chinstrap penguins, and how you can virtually adopt a chinstrap penguin, here.

Learn more about climate change harming marine life, including acidification harming Dungeness crabs,  the mystery of dead birds across Alaska, turtles in Cape Cod Bay, lobsters off the coast of New England and whales in the Gulf of Maine.

For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Also, don’t forget to download the Food Monster App on iTunes — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest meatless, vegan and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy!

Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!

Advertisement

Advertisement