The latest find, however, expands the number of supposedly dwindling population of Adélie Penguins.
While we battle through some Arctic conditions of our own here in the United Kingdom, a previously undiscovered "supercolony" of Adélie penguins has been found on the ominously named Danger Islands in Antarctica.
"But it also reinforces the urgency to protect the waters off the coast of Antarctica to safeguard Adélie penguins from the dual threats of overfishing and climate change". Where there is lots of poop, there are probably lots of penguins. He also designed algorithms to scan the collected images and identify the location of penguin nesting sites.
Still, he added, the penguins aren't out of the woods just yet.
Researchers announced Friday they had discovered a breeding colony of over 1.5 million Adelie penguins, which are threatened by climate change, on the Antarctic Peninsula.
"Until recently, the Danger Islands weren't known to be an important penguin habitat", said Professor Heather Lynch, an ecologist at Stony Brook University who co-led the work. Well, the Danger Islands are fairly remote, even by Antarctica standards. Is it linked to the extended sea ice condition over there?
However in 2014, Lynch and associate Mathew Schwaller from NASA found obvious guano recolors in existing NASA satellite symbolism of the islands, indicating at a bafflingly extensive number of penguins.
The team arrived in December 2015 and got to counting.
The photos were then stitched together to give a comprehensive picture. Nevertheless, when Polito visited the islands, the ice appeared to be low. "We present the first complete census of Pygoscelis spp. penguins in the Danger Islands, estimated from a multi-modal survey consisting of direct ground counts and computer-automated counts of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imagery".
Having the capacity to get a precise include of the feathered creatures this supercolony offers a significant benchmark for future change, also, notes Jenouvrier. We need to comprehend why. On the eastern side, where sea ice has been more stable, the species has clearly thrived. Polito said the publication of their study comes at just the right time to assist in that effort, as an global body that oversees Antarctica's wildlife resources is expected to review new refuge proposals in October.