Emperor penguins, which live in the cold waters of Antarctica, are at risk of extinction in the next 30 to 40 years due to climate change. This is the warning of experts of the Argentine Antarctic Institute (IAA).
The emperor penguin is the largest penguin in the world and one of only two species of penguin endemic to Antarctica. They give birth in winter in the Southern Hemisphere, and the sea must freeze from April to December to make nests for newborn penguins.
If the sea freezes later or thaws earlier, emperor penguins cannot complete their reproductive cycle. If young penguins get wet, they will either die of the cold or drown because they can’t swim and don’t have the waterproof plumage of adults.
Not only facing the risk of climate change, increased tourism and fishing in Antarctica also pushed the future of emperor penguins into a dead end. Food resources plummeted and other species in the food chain became extinct.