Each year, Oceanites, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Washington DC, releases their report highlighting the current populations of Antarctic penguin species. The State of Antarctic Penguins report (SOAP) tracks the populations of the five species of penguin that live and breed in Antarctica, as well as predicts population trends for the future.
The importance of this information has grown due to the rapidly changing temperatures of the continent, with the average winter temperature having raised about 9 degrees Fahrenheit in the last 60 years.
This annual report was assembled using the most current scientist data, including 3,617 records from 1008 sources, as well as satellite images and on-site researchers.
The report is broken down by the three major regions in Antarctica: the Antarctic Peninsula, Ross Sea, and the East Antarctic. Splitting the report into these three regional sections can help researchers to establish how a penguin colony’s location affects the rise or decline of their species. The report also includes a section that totals all of the populations to get an accurate representation across the entire continent. The populations of these penguins’ ranges anywhere from 13,000 breeding pairs to 3 million pairs.
Oceanites continues to closely track any notable changes in these penguin populations or trends, as well as increasing temperatures in areas where penguin colonies nest. They also study the different impacts that climate change has on each species of penguin, watching how they react and adapt to warmer temperatures.
The non-profit has also released an infographic to easily deliver some of the most notable facts and changes about Antarctic penguins. Some of these highlights include the average life span, height, and diving depth of emperor penguins, the coldest temperature ever recorded on the continent, and the physical size of Antarctica.
With the information collected in this report, researchers can establish new baselines to monitor these penguin populations in the future. They can also more accurately predict what the future of these penguins may hold, in terms of breeding and populations.
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