Originally uploaded by Rubik Mangrove
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
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Posted by Lin Kerns at 6:12 PM
Gentoo penguins on the march at new exhibit
A colony of birds just flew to Utah from
The Gentoo penguins arrived a week ago and are adjusting to their new home at The
"They are fantastic -- just swimming around and frolicking all over the place," said
"Penguin Encounter," the newest exhibit at the aquarium, opens March 26. There are 17 species of penguins in the world, and aquarium officials chose to showcase Gentoo penguins for a reason. "It completes our 'Journey to South America' exhibit," said Hyde, explaining that Gentoo penguins are native to the
"The water in the exhibit, and the air, is kept at about 42 degrees, said Hyde. "They're one of the species that are most active in the water," she said of the penguins, which measure about 20 inches tall and typically weigh 10 to 14 pounds. "Most likely, when you come, you'll see them swimming around quite a bit."
Gentoo penguins can swim up to 17
"They don't fly in the air, but they fly in water," said Hyde. Their diving techniques, and their ability to pop up out of the water and onto land make them fun to watch. "They're quite noisy, and have kind of a honk," she said.
"Penguin Encounter" is designed to resemble a Falkland Islands research station, where visitors will be able to observe the penguins underwater and on land. "The exhibit will teach all about the physiological aspects of the birds, including why they don't fly in the air, but do fly in water," said Hyde, Visitors will also learn how penguins survive in the cold.
"They have more feathers than any other species of bird," she said. "They have to keep a heavy coat, basically, of blubber and feathers to keep them warm, and their feathers are extremely water-resistant."
Information about what the penguins eat (herring, smelt and capelin), why they molt, their behavior, their environment and predators will also be part of the display. Information about the resident penguins will be updated regularly on a research board.
The penguins at The Living Planet Aquarium were born and raised in captivity. They come from Moody Gardens in Galveston, Texas. "We have a total of 11 penguins," said Hyde. "I believe three of them are chicks, about 6 months old. We have a breeding pair, and the rest are about a year old. We're hoping, with that breeding pair, to get some new baby ones at some point -- that will be exciting."
Posted by Lin Kerns at 6:06 PM
Friday, March 19, 2010
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Gentoo Penguin on Useful Island Antarctic Peninsula
Originally uploaded by Elaine Marie Parker
This penguin was coming back from hunting (likely with a gullet full of krill) and was heading up the hill to swap duties with the mate who was guarding the chicks. The colony was very busy with activity, the chicks were about half grown when we were there.
Posted by Lin Kerns at 3:42 PM
Despite reading and watching lots of nature shows I never understood the tremendous devotion of the parent penguins to their chicks till I got to see it first hand. Their attention is all consuming and it is a moving experience to watch the continuous care.
This Gentoo penguin adult has just come back from fishing and has relieved its mate (who has now left to go fishing.) It fusses to arrange the pebbles and the two chicks and the remaining egg (which is surely dead by now) and protect everything. I sat and watched it feed these chicks for quite some time.
What you can`t see in this photo is the biting cold gusty wind battering this family group. The protective parent pair is doing a great job though, never give up, always pay attention!
Posted by Lin Kerns at 3:41 PM
Friday, March 12, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
For Immediate Release, March 9, 2010
|Contact:||Catherine Kilduff, Center for Biological Diversity, (415) 644-8580|
Todd Steiner/Teri Shore, Turtle Island Restoration Network, (415) 663- 8590 x 103/104
“While sea ice melts and oceans warm, the Obama administration is stuck like a deer in the headlights. Instead of saving penguins from the leviathan of global warming while it still can,” said Catherine Kilduff, a Center attorney, “our government is dragging its feet.”
“Penguins should be marching toward recovery, not extinction. These amazing species face a double whammy from the threats brought by climate change and industrial fisheries that deplete the penguins’ food supply and entangle and drown the penguins in longlines and other destructive fishing gear. They deserve protection under the Endangered Species Act,” said Todd Steiner, biologist and executive director of TIRN.
In 2006 the Center filed a petition to list 12 penguin species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. In December 2008, the Interior Department proposed listing seven of those species as threatened or endangered – African, Humboldt, yellow-eyed, white-flippered, Fiordland crested, and erect-crested penguins as well as a few populations of the southern rockhopper – while denying listing to emperor and northern rockhopper penguins despite scientific evidence that they also are threatened by climate change.
Today’s lawsuit challenges the Interior Department’s illegal delay in finalizing the listing of the seven proposed penguin species; the Center and TIRN also intend to file suit against Interior for denying protections to emperor and rockhopper penguins. Warming oceans, melting sea ice, and fishery harvests have wreaked havoc on penguins’ food supply: krill, an essential nutrient for penguins, whales, and seals, has declined by up to 80 percent since the 1970s over large areas of the Southern Ocean. Reduced food supply has diminished populations of species ranging from southern rockhoppers and Humboldt penguins of South American islands to the African penguin in
Endangered Species Act listing would protect penguins from multiple threats, raise awareness of their plight, and increase research funding. Federal approval of fishing permits for U.S.-flagged vessels on the high seas, for example, would require analysis and minimization of impacts on penguins. The Act also has a key role in managing greenhouse gas pollution by compelling federal agencies to look at the impact of the emissions generated by their activities on listed species and reduce those impacts.
For more information on penguins, please see: http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/birds/penguins/index.html.
Posted by Lin Kerns at 5:20 PM