Two Penguin Chicks Survive in Colony of 40,000 – Birds Are Starving All Over the World With Climate Change as Factor
The birds, all of a species known as the common murre, appear to have starved to death, federal wildlife officials say, suggesting disruptions to the supply of herring and other fish that make up the birds’ diet. A survey by wildlife officials over the weekend counted more than 8000 dead murres on the shores of one beach near Whittier, about 100 kilometres south-east of Anchorage. Local news video showed bodies of the black-and-white birds scattered on the beach and floating in the water offshore.
Wildlife officials say it’s not yet known why the birds are starving. One possible explanation is that the birds’ usual food supply – the schools of herring and other small fish usually found near the coast – have not materialised this year, perhaps because of changing climate or this year’s extreme El Nino weather pattern. While generally plentiful elsewhere in Alaska, herring populations have been depressed in the Prince William Sound, scene of the 1983 Exxon Valdez oil spill.
They’ve been starving in Antarctica. From the Guardian:
The awful news that all but two penguin chicks have starved to death out of a colony of almost 40,000 birds is a grim illustration of the enormous pressure Antarctic wildlife is under. The causes of this devastating event are complex, from a changing climate to local sea-ice factors, but one thing penguins, whales and other marine life don’t need is additional strain on food supplies.
Yea, and how about Fukushima radioactive heavy metals, plus fossil fuel pollution?