Penguin species of ‘Happy Feet’ film declines in sub-Antarctic


This video is called Rockhopper Penguins part1.

Part 2 is here.

From Reuters:

Rockhopper Penguin Numbers Tumble in South Atlantic

December 22, 2006

OSLO — Rockhopper penguins, a type featured in the movie “Happy Feet“, have suffered a mysterious 30 percent decline in numbers over five years in their South Atlantic stronghold, conservationists said on Friday.

The number of pairs of the small yellow-crested penguins in Britain’s Falkland Islands fell to 210,418 pairs in 2005-06 from 298,496 in 2000, perhaps because of climate change, a survey by Falklands Conservation said.

Figures from 1932 suggested that there were 1.5 million pairs at the time, giving an 85 percent fall in the species’ main habitat, it said.

Smaller colonies live in Chile, Argentina and on southern islands.

“The decline of the rockhopper penguin in the Falkland Islands suggests a massive shift in the ecology of the southern Ocean, perhaps linked to climate change,” said Geoff Hilton, a biologist at Britain’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).

See also here.

Amsterdam island rockhopper penguins: here.

Penguins and fur seals in the Antarctic: here.

Antarctic birds breeding and climate change: here.

Little penguins of Australia: here.

And here.

6 thoughts on “Penguin species of ‘Happy Feet’ film declines in sub-Antarctic

  1. Munroe the “Groucho Marx” penguin has happy feet
    Wed Jan 10, 2007 12:19am

    By Paul Tait

    SYDNEY (Reuters) – And he thinks he’s tired now.

    A rare “Groucho Marx” penguin found exhausted on an Australian beach after a 2,000 km (1,240 miles) swim has been saved by Sydney zookeepers but will soon have to earn his keep by snuggling up to two lonely females of his vulnerable species.

    The Fiordland Crested Penguin, also known as Groucho Marx penguins because of their distinctive bushy eyebrows, is one of the world’s most endangered penguin species and is usually found in the frigid sub-Antarctic waters off southern from the last 24 hours.

    The male penguin was found at Norah Head, a sleepy beachside hamlet about 80 km (50 miles) north of Sydney, last November, exhausted and suffering respiratory problems after his trans-Tasman trek.

    The penguin nick-named “Munroe” was taken to Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, where he is now the only male of his species in captivity in the world.

    Restored to ruddy good health after medical checks and a steady diet of pilchards, Munroe will soon be introduced to the zoo’s other fiordland penguins “Chalky” and Milford,” the only two females in captivity, and get down to the job at hand.

    “The girls have been on their own for quite some time now,” Taronga Zoo spokeswoman Danielle McGill said.

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  2. Fri, Jun. 08, 2007

    Global warming threatens Antarctic base
    The Associated Press

    British Princess Anne inspects the outside of British explorer Robert Falcon Scott’s Terra Nova Hut at Cape Evans in Antarctica in this Feb. 8, 2002 file photo. The Antarctic base occupied by the British explorer on his ill-fated expedition to the South Pole on foot early last century has been included on a list of the world’s 100 most endangered sites. The list, compiled by an international panel and released by the World Monuments Fund, identifies what are considered to be the world’s most endangered historic, architectural and cultural treasures.
    Mark Baker, Pool, File / AP Photo
    British Princess Anne inspects the outside of British explorer Robert Falcon Scott’s Terra Nova Hut at Cape Evans in Antarctica in this Feb. 8, 2002 file photo. The Antarctic base occupied by the British explorer on his ill-fated expedition to the South Pole on foot early last century has been included on a list of the world’s 100 most endangered sites. The list, compiled by an international panel and released by the World Monuments Fund, identifies what are considered to be the world’s most endangered historic, architectural and cultural treasures.

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand —
    The Antarctic base occupied by British explorer Robert Falcon Scott on his ill-fated expedition to the South Pole on foot early last century has been included on a list of the world’s 100 most endangered sites.

    The list, compiled by an international panel and released Wednesday by the World Monuments Fund, identifies what are considered to be the world’s most endangered historic, architectural and cultural treasures.

    The WMF identified climate change as the biggest threat to the hut, built in 1911 at Cape Evans by Captain Scott’s British Antarctic expedition. The hut is wooden but for decades was permanently frozen. With the ice melting, the timbers have become waterlogged and are rotting.

    Thousands of objects and artifacts from the expedition, which cost Scott and his team their lives during their return journey from the South Pole, remain in and around the hut.

    Nigel Watson, the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust director, said Friday the New Zealand government supported any efforts to preserve the site and hoped the listing would attract donors.

    He said the estimated cost of conserving the site was $6.7 million.

    New Zealand’s Everest conqueror and Antarctic explorer Sir Edmund Hillary has been vocal in supporting the preservation of the Scott hut, along with another occupied by a fellow British polar explorer, Sir Ernest Shackelton.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/world/AP/story/132968.html

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  3. Net threat to penguins
    Article from: The Mercury

    MICHELLE PAINE

    September 06, 2007 12:00am

    LITTLE penguins are drowning in large numbers around Tasmania in gill nets, the International Penguin Conference in Hobart heard yesterday.
    Tasmania’s only penguin species was suffering from fishing, disturbance, dog attacks and, increasingly, fatal injuries from jetskis, a workshop was told.

    Unseen by fish and penguins, the fine mesh nets — dubbed the “phantom menace” — were deadly to the diving birds, said scientist Eric Woehler.

    “Recreational gill netting is banned in other states with little penguins. We don’t know how many penguins are dying this way because the research hasn’t been done but we hear of 20 in a net,” Dr Woehler said.

    “These nets are invisible. The penguins get caught in the spaces as they dive but because they come up for air, they’re trapped and they drown. They should at least be banned near colonies.”

    Only about 5 per cent of the state’s little penguins exist on the Tasmanian mainland.

    Tasmanian Conservation Trust chief executive officer Christian Bell said fishers had admitted to rangers they had caught 30 penguins in a net.

    Mr Bell said regulations had increased but there were no penguin colonies on mainland Tasmania where gill netting was banned.

    “The birds are fully protected. But it’s difficult to enforce,” he said.

    Department of Primary Industries and Water primary industries general manager Wes Ford said regulations over the past 15 years aimed to minimise the impact of nets on seabirds.

    “Prohibitions on gill netting apply to most sheltered waters and gill nets cannot be set overnight. There is a very active education campaign aimed at raising awareness and improving fishing practices,” Mr Ford said.

    “We will also continue to review our regulations to ensure that any impact is reduced while providing opportunities for Tasmanians to be involved in fishing.”

    The conference heard of concerns about a colony of 600 penguins at Low Head that dive for food where effluent from the proposed Gunns pulp mill would meet the sea.

    This week’s conference has also been told how the winter journey of Adelie penguins is changing.

    Satellite tagging has shown how the penguin adjust to changes in habitat brought by warming temperatures.

    Field research and a 30,000 year-old bone record meant more was known about how Antarctic penguins would adjust to rapid climate change than almost any creature on Earth, said US environmental consultant David Ainley.

    US conservationist Susie Ellis will give a free public talk on the conservation status of the world’s penguins at 7pm today at the Stanley Burbury Lecture Theatre, University of Tasmania.

    http://www.news.com.au/mercury/story/0,22884,22372015-3462,00.html

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  4. Pingback: Rockhopper penguin research | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Wildlife in unexpected places | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: Gentoo penguins in Antarctic winter, new study | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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