Penguins in peril - marathon food search
Global warming is causing problems in finding food for penguins in Argentina.
The fluctuations year to year in weather is leading to them nesting in places that means that they have to swim the equivalent of two marathons in order to find food to feed their chicks and this is putting the colonies at risk.
It's been a bad year for penguins with other colonies also reported to be having difficulties this time due to melting ice.
Penguins from the largest colony on mainland South America are being forced to swim the equivalent of two marathons farther to find food because of the effects of climate change.
The survival of the Magellanic penguin colony at Punta Tombo, on the Atlantic coast of Argentina, is being threatened by the increasing distances the birds must travel to feed themselves and their chicks, research has shown.
Dee Boersma, of the University of Washington in Seattle, said that Punta Tombo penguins were now routinely swimming 25 miles farther on their foraging expeditions than they did a decade ago.
“That distance might not sound like much, but they also have to swim another 25 miles back, and they are swimming that extra 50 miles while their mates are back at the breeding grounds, sitting on a nest and starving,” she said.