Tragic year for colony

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS -

A COLONY of more than 18,000 pairs of Adelie pen­guins in Antarc­tica has had a cat­a­strophic breed­ing sea­son with just two chicks sur­viv­ing, wildlife ex­perts say.

Sci­en­tists blamed un­usu­ally ex­ten­sive sea ice late in the sum­mer, de­spite low ice early in the sea­son, which meant the pen­guins had to travel fur­ther for food, caus­ing the chicks to starve.

Con­ser­va­tion group WWF said the dev­as­tat­ing breed­ing sea­son showed waters off east Antarc­tica must be pro­tected from fish­ing fleets, which made it harder for pen­guins to find their krill.

A pro­posal for a new pro­tected area for the waters off east Antarc­tica will be con­sid­ered next week.

WWF said a ma­rine pro­tected area, which would pre­vent krill fish­ing, would help se­cure a fu­ture for the wildlife of east Antarc­tica.

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