‘An­ni­hi­la­tion of Adelie pen­guin chicks’

Clutha Leader - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS -

than nor­mal to for­age for food, with the re­sult that their chicks starved. This was a dou­ble whammy for the colony. Just four years ago the chicks froze to death when rain – yes, rain in Antarc­tica – was fol­lowed by a sud­den cold snap. The krill on which the pen­guins de­pend will also be im­pacted by climate change which is al­ready shrink­ing their avail­able habit and dis­rupt­ing their life cy­cle.

The dis­cov­ery of the pen­guin chick deaths prompted re­newed calls for more marine pro­tected ar­eas. At the 2016 CCAMLR meet­ing, all mem­ber coun­tries fi­nally agreed to es­tab­lish an

MPA in the Ross Sea, but it’s just been an­nounced that this year’s meet­ing failed to reach con­sen­sus about cre­at­ing one in East Antarc­tica. MPAs don’t di­rectly prevent the im­pacts of climate change, but at least help to give the pen­guins a fight­ing chance by re­duc­ing com­pe­ti­tion with hu­mans for the avail­able food.

Mr Hill con­cludes that it’s a waste of time for Green­peace to op­pose whal­ing be­cause the whales are likely to starve any­way. Try­ing to turn things around is cer­tainly an enor­mous chal­lenge, and one that comes with no guar­an­tee of suc­cess. But we can all draw in­spi­ra­tion from the ac­tivists who go to sea in very small boats in or­der to face down very large whal­ing ships.

Jane Young South Otago For­est& Bird


A pair of Adelie pen­guins.

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