WASHINGTON, DC / ACCESSWIRE / December 1, 2020 / Oceanites Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based not-for-profit organization that has championed science-based conservation and decision-making for more than 25 years, today announced the release of its fourth-annual State of Antarctic Penguins Report. The findings point to increasing concern associated with climate change.
The report provides a credible base of scientific evidence for decision-making and management to assist all Antarctic stakeholders and others, including climate and other scientists, governments, NGOs, fishing and tourism operators, and concerned citizens.
The report describes an Antarctic penguin population that is down nearly 7 percent, compared to 2019, with 5.8 million breeding pairs identified nesting at 698 sites across the entire Antarctic continent.
Of particular concern, this year's findings point to continuing and notable population declines in three Antarctic penguin species: Emperor penguin populations down 16%; Adelie down 5%; and Chinstrap penguin counts down 11%. In contrast the Gentoo penguin population is estimated to be up 6%.
Based on this and prior Oceanites' reports and those of other scientists, the Antarctic penguin population, particularly in the Antarctic Peninsula, continues to decline with many climate change and climate-related factors potentially involved. These include: a potentially shifting or shrinking krill stock; the amount of krill fishing and higher exposure to fishing interference during the penguin breeding season; competition for krill with whales and seals; penguins' winter foraging ranges and other nonbreeding season impacts; and rising temperatures and retreating sea ice due to global warming.
"It's evident that climate change is involved," said Ron Naveen, President and Founder of Oceanites, "Sea ice is melting and the ecosystem is changing in a way that is leading to a decline in the penguin population. The goal of our annual penguin report is to keep the world fully appraised of the latest, most accurate Antarctic penguin population data. What we and others continue to learn is alarming."
Naveen said studying the penguin population in the Antarctic is not only about concern for the treasured region and its changing environment.
"It's also about climate change and its impact on the entire planet," said Naveen. "We join others in studying penguins in the Antarctic because these waddling creatures are helping us understand what climate change is doing to their world so that we understand what it will do to ours. These precious birds are helping us understand what's necessary to protect and sustain their neighborhood and save the planet we share."
Oceanites Areas of Focus
The Antarctic Site Inventory is a long-term project where Oceanites monitors and maintains a comprehensive database of penguin population changes across the entirety of the Antarctic Peninsula. Oceanites has conducted more than 25 years of expeditions, with more than 2,100 census visits to more than 250 locations in the Antarctic Peninsula.
The Antarctic Continent-wide Penguin Database called MAPPPDserves as the repository of information from the Antarctic Site Inventory and is associated with data from other Antarctic researchers creating the most comprehensive, publicly available database on Antarctic penguin populations. It is the single-best source of all Antarctic penguin data and is relied upon by all Antarctic Treaty nations, stakeholders and NGOs in fashioning appropriate conservation measures.
Oceanites' Climate Outreach and Analyses bears witness, firsthand, to significant climate and environmental changes. Oceanites is uniquely qualified to spread the word and inform the growing number of global citizens who are concerned with humankind's ability to adapt to a warmer future. In addition, Oceanites continues its analyses and research examining the direct and interactive effects of climate change and other factors in the Antarctic Peninsula ecosystem.
The organization's Stratified Long-Term Antarctic Peninsula Monitoring Plan will begin a year from now, relying on dedicated vessels and drone technology to fill penguin population data gaps and assist the development of conservation measures by Antarctic Treaty nations and stakeholders, and NGOs.
Oceanites, Inc. is a U.S.-based organization that has been driving science-based conservation under the Antarctic Treaty for more than two decades and represents the world's only nonprofit, publicly supported Antarctic research program. For more information about Oceanites visit: Oceanites.org. For a copy of Oceanites' 2020 State of Antarctic Penguins Report click here: 2020 Penguin Report.
To interview Oceanites President and Founder Ron Naveen and media contacts and inquiries:
SOURCE:Convene Communication Strategies
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