Home Top Stories Meet the lovable penguins residing throughout Patagonia Gadgetfee

Meet the lovable penguins residing throughout Patagonia Gadgetfee

Meet the lovable penguins residing throughout Patagonia Gadgetfee

Marine biologist Andrea Raya Rey selected her profession at age 10. As an animal lover who needed to review the distinctive behaviors of creatures, she would discover herself staring out on the sea for hours on finish, watching dolphins frolic within the waves by means of her binoculars.

As an undergraduate scholar, she started finding out dolphins within the wild and within the far south area of Argentina, she additionally discovered seabirds.

“Once I met the penguins in individual, I liked them,” stated Rey, a researcher on the Nationwide Scientific and Technical Analysis Council in Tierra del Fuego. “And I am unable to cease loving them.”

Like dolphins, penguins are wonderful divers and speedy swimmers. By finding out the marine birds, Rey realized she may achieve a greater understanding of the ocean.

Alongside Patagonia’s edge on the southern tip of South America, completely different populations of penguins act as beacons for the way ecosystems are responding to the local weather disaster.

Penguins come on land to breed and nest, however additionally they spend a variety of time within the ocean, foraging for meals.

Rey has studied their swimming behaviors, like the place penguins go to forage and what they feed on, in addition to the demographics of penguin populations. Collectively, this knowledge creates parameters to assist biologists perceive how penguins are reacting to the altering surroundings round them.

“It is the right animal to get to know the ocean higher,” Rey stated. “It is like an early alert for the way the ocean is struggling. All of the marine surroundings threats are threats for penguins, too, like local weather change, air pollution, delivery, oil exploration and exploitation.”

Patagonia’s penguins

Patagonia is residence to a number of varieties of penguins that reside throughout the area’s numerous environments, together with gentoo penguins, Magellanic penguins and king penguins.

(From left) A gentoo penguin chick and an adult reunite after a foraging trip.

Rey research the 50 pairs of gentoo penguins that reside on south Argentina’s Hammer Island, a harsh and distant place the place the one residents are marine birds. She checks on the well being of the birds and collects blood samples to verify the inhabitants — thought of secure in the intervening time — stays wholesome.

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Attaching a small digital camera to the again of every grownup penguin permits Rey to study extra about how they feed once they depart on hours-long foraging journeys. The penguins swim for miles and might dive down 200 toes (61 meters) or extra throughout a single food-finding expedition.

Magellanic penguins populate Hammer Island in addition to the seashores alongside Patagonia’s desert coast at El Pedral.

Magellanic penguins walk across the beach at Estancia el Pedral in Punta Ninfas, Argentina.

Air pollution has been a menace to Magellanic penguins on the desert coast, however conservationists have labored onerous to wash up the trash and create a protected space. These efforts allowed the colony to develop from six pairs of penguins to greater than 3,000 pairs.

The king penguin can also be making an sudden comeback in Patagonia. Tons of of hundreds of king penguins had as soon as lived in Tierra del Fuego, however European settlers hunted them, wiping out the colony.

King penguins are making a surprising comeback in Patagonia. The original colony had been eliminated by European settlers, who were hunting them for food.
Then, in 2010, king penguins returned to the world. The colony grows and prospers underneath the watchful eye of native conservationists like Cecilia Durán, founding father of the King Penguin Nature Reserve, who has constructed an enclosure round their breeding grounds and retains guests at a protected distance from the penguins.

Monitoring populations

Whereas some penguin colonies are rising, the most important ones are lowering in Patagonia, Rey stated. Intently monitoring completely different penguin teams can reveal if sure varieties of inhabitants interferes with different penguins which might be pushed out of their typical surroundings, just like the susceptible southern rockhopper penguin.

Nest cameras enable researchers to trace stressors for penguin colonies, like microplastic air pollution or warmth waves able to killing penguin chicks.

A king penguin chick huddles with its colony.

If penguins disappear from Patagonia, it may trigger an enormous environmental shift as a result of penguins are prime predators in marine meals webs and ecosystems, Rey stated. Penguins assist regulate these meals webs, each on land and within the ocean, and their key function cannot be crammed by one other animal.

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Raya research the colonies by going to the distant environments the place the penguins reside within the far south. She desires the wild components of Earth to stay wild. She hopes that people can reside in concord with animals, moderately than inflicting the stressors that may lower their populations.

And there is a form of peace that comes from finding out the penguins who reside in remoted locations that automobiles, smartphones and computer systems cannot attain.

“I actually take pleasure in being in the midst of nowhere simply with the penguins in these virtually untouched locations,” Rey stated.


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