Gentoo Penguin Greeting Visitors in Neko Harbor, Antarctica, originally uploaded by bizresearchlmt.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
We have chicks... the early ones hatched last week and more will be coming. If you watch, you'll see the returning parent try and nudge the one sitting on the nest over so he/she can get their turn at parenting. The parent will also be bent and in a feeding position, and there you might get to see this dark blur. Lastly, if you see the penguin parent's breastbone display, he or she is most certainly letting the little one get a little air (along with doing some intentional boasting). :)
Too bad we have no close-up cam this year, but we can always hope that at one point, the remaining cams will be installed nearer the rookery. Can't wait for the little ones to be up and out from under their parents.
Posted by Lin Kerns at 5:40 PM
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
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Wednesday, December 17, 2008
For Immediate Release, December 17, 2008
Contact: Brendan Cummings, Center for Biological Diversity, (951) 768-8301
Bush Administration Denies Endangered Species Act Protection for
Emperor Penguin; Ice-Dependent Species Imperiled by Global Warming
Seven Other Penguin Species Proposed for Listing As Threatened
SAN FRANCISCO— The Bush administration today denied protection for the emperor penguin under the Endangered Species Act. The emperor penguin, the most ice-dependant of all penguin species, is threatened by global warming and the consequent loss of its sea-ice habitat, as well as declining food availability wrought by the warming ocean off Antarctica. Today’s decision, made by the Department of the Interior in response to a petition and lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity , concluded that global warming impacts were too “uncertain” to warrant protecting the species. The Administration also denied protection for two other penguin species, while proposing protection for seven other species.
“Right now penguins are marching towards extinction due to the impacts of global warming,” said Shaye Wolf, a seabird biologist with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Protecting penguins under the Endangered Species Act is an essential step toward saving them. For the species proposed for listing, today’s decision is an important step forward. However, for the emperor penguin, it is a step closer to extinction.”
In today’s decision, to be published in Thursday’s Federal Register, the African penguin, yellow-eyed penguin, white-flippered penguin, Fiordland crested penguin, Humboldt penguin, and erect-crested penguin were proposed for listing as threatened species. The Administration also proposed listing of a portion of the range of the southern rockhopper penguin. However, the Interior Department denied listing for the majority of the range of the southern rockhopper penguin, as well as for the northern rockhopper penguin, macaroni penguin, and emperor penguin.
Abnormally warm ocean temperatures and diminished sea ice have wreaked havoc on the penguins’ foods supply. Less food has led to population declines in penguin species ranging from the southern rockhopper and Humboldt penguins of the islands off South America, and the African penguin in southern Africa, to the emperor penguin in Antarctica. The ocean conditions causing these declines have been linked by scientists to global warming and are projected to intensify in the coming decades.
Krill, an essential food source not just for penguins but also for whales and seals, has declined by as much as 80 percent since the 1970s over large areas of the Southern Ocean. Scientists have linked the ocean conditions causing these declines to global warming and loss of sea ice. The emperor penguin colony at Pointe Geologie, featured in the film “ March of the Penguins,” has declined by more than 50 percent due to global warming.
Many penguin species also are harmed by industrial fisheries, either directly, such as when individual penguins are caught and killed in trawls, nets and longlines; or indirectly, through the depletion of essential prey species such as anchovy and krill. Overfishing by industrial fishing fleets plays a prominent role in the hit movie “Happy Feet,” which features two of the species denied protection today, the emperor and rockhopper penguins.
Listing under the Endangered Species Act will provide broad protection to these penguins, including a requirement that federal agencies ensure that any action carried out, authorized, or funded by the U.S. government will not “jeopardize the continued existence” of the penguin species. For example, if penguins are listed, future approval of fishing permits for U.S.-flagged vessels operating on the high seas would require analysis and minimization of impacts on the listed penguins. The Act also has an important role to play in reducing greenhouse gas pollution by compelling federal agencies to look at the impact of the emissions generated by their activities on listed species and to adopt solutions to reduce them.
The Center for Biological Diversity filed a petition in November 2006 to list 12 penguin species as threatened or endangered. Ultimately, the Department of Interior initiated status reviews of 10 of 12 penguin species, but only issued today’s findings under court order. The agency has one year to finalize the listing decision for the seven penguins proposed for listing. The decision to deny protection for the emperor, rockhopper and macaroni penguins can be challenged in court.
“Penguin populations are in jeopardy and we can’t afford to further delay protections,” said Brendan Cummings, oceans program director at the Center. “The denial of protection for the emperor penguin ignores the science on global warming and ignores the law. We are confident it will be overturned by either the courts or the new administration.”
For more information on penguins and a link to the federal petition, please see: http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/birds/penguins/index.html
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national nonprofit conservation organization with 200,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.
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Posted by Lin Kerns at 9:08 PM
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Once in a great while, something comes along that reaffirms that good writing is not on the endangered species list (such as some of our penguins). Once in a while, that good writer emerges from the fold and by the telling of a fictional tale, a great truth is revealed. Such is the case with John Yunker.
John contacted me a few days ago, and humbly offered his story for me to read. I had planned to scan it, as these days, a literary penguin has much to do, but I found myself immersed in the plot and the technique. I could not stop reading; goodness, but I haven't seen writing like this in a very long time. You all, my readers, will be just as pleased as I was and still am.
The short story, as you may have guessed, concerns our character as a response to a need that necessitates sacrifice. Do we do our part? Is it enough? Shouldn't we do more? What stops us? Fear of change or fear of our inner selves? Can we assume the burden of protection for smaller lives? So many questions---all raised within one short story. If this penguin was still teaching, all of her chicks would be reading this story; indeed, the story won the Phoebe 2008 Fiction Prize and that's quite an honor.
So, without further ado, I present you with three links: the first link is to the .pdf of the story, which you can download and read at your leisure, the second link is to John's blog, and the last link is to Dr. Boersma's site. Once you read the story, you'll understand the validity of including the last one.
1. The Tourist Trail by John Yonker HERE
2. John's blog is HERE
3. Dr. Boersma's Site, for Penguin Research at Punta Tombo, is HERE
Let's hope that a publisher realizes what a find John is, as this short story has all the makings of a great novel for our time. And lastly, John--keep us updated on what's happening with you. I'm sure your new and ever growing fanbase will be very appreciative. :)
Posted by Lin Kerns at 9:12 AM
A Southern Gentoo Penguin (Pygoscelis pygoscelis ellesworthi) Chick, originally uploaded by fiorenzo63.
Posted by Lin Kerns at 8:31 AM
Monday, December 15, 2008
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Thursday, December 11, 2008
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Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Be sure to post if you see an egg. The rookery has been experiencing normalcy in behavior and in the weather. However, with all of the females hunkered over their nests in order to escape the damp onshore flow and mist/heavy fog, there may be eggs laid already.
If you see one, let the rest of us know.. and be sure to point out which nest where it lays.
It's time for our annual egg hunt... :)
Posted by Lin Kerns at 2:13 PM