The Penguins Are Dying Off, Lack of food
African penguin, © Bob Fleming
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What's At Stake:
On November 28, 2006, the Center petitioned the Fish and Wildlife Service to protect 12 of the world's 19 penguin species under the Endangered Species Act due to global warming and other threats.
Abnormally warm ocean temperatures and diminished sea ice have wreaked havoc on penguin food availability in recent decades. Less food has led to population declines in species ranging from the southern rockhopper and Humboldt penguins of the islands off South America, and the African penguin in southern Africa, to the emperor penguin in Antarctica. The ocean conditions causing these declines have been linked by scientists to global warming and are projected to intensify in the coming decades.
The emperor penguin colony at Pointe Geologie, which was featured in the film March of the Penguins, has declined by more than 50 percent due to global warming. Krill, the keystone of the Antarctic marine ecosystem and an essential food source not just for penguins but also for whales and seals, has declined by as much as 80 percent since the 1970s over large areas of the Southern Ocean. Recent studies indicate that even under the most optimistic greenhouse gas emission scenarios, continued warming over the coming decades will dramatically affect Antarctica, the sub-Antarctic islands, the Southern Ocean, and the penguins dependent for survival on these and nearby ecosystems.
This week, the Fish and Wildlife Service found that Endangered Species Act listing "may be warranted" for ten of the species, the emperor, northern and southern rockhopper, macaroni, Humboldt, African, white-flippered, erect-crested, Fiordland crested, and yellow-eyed penguins. The Service found insufficient information for the Snare's crested and royal penguins. We will not rest until all of these penguins receive the protection they deserve, and we must begin greenhouse gas reductions immediately in order to save them.
Please take a moment to write to the Fish and Wildlife Service today in support of penguin protection. And please, share this message with your family and friends!
Click on the link to take action or send comments to:
Special Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Director, International Affairs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Room 760
Arlington, VA 22203;
Fax: (703) 358-2276
Campaign Expiration Date:
September 10, 2007
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