A long term study of Magellanic penguins has found that the effects of climate change is one of the significant causes behind the death of young penguin chicks. Over the course of 27 years between 1983 to 2010, researchers from the University of Washington, working in Argentina, observed a colony of about 400 thousand penguins that live on the Punta Tombo peninsula.
A long term study of Magellanic penguins has found that the effects of climate change is an increasingly significant cause behind the death of young penguin chicks.
From 1983 to 2010, researchers at the University of Washington, working in Argentina during the annual breeding season, observed a colony of about 400 thousand penguins living on the Punta Tombo peninsula.
Drastic weather changes including increased rainfall and temperatures are killing the baby penguins, and over the 27 years penguin parents are reportedly waiting until later in the season to breed, which makes their offspring more vulnerable to these extreme weather conditions.
Doctor Ginger Rebstock, co-author of the study from the University of Washington said: “We're going to see years where almost no chicks survive if climate change makes storms bigger and more frequent during vulnerable times of the breeding season as climatologists predict.”
Results of the study show that on average starvation is still the biggest threat to the penguin chicks with 40 percent, compared to 7 percent due to climate changes.
However, for two years of the study, climate change was the largest cause of deaths among the chicks.