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China to not give advanced safety to emperor penguins

  • Category
    Ecology and Environment
  • Published
    14th Jun, 2022

Context

China has blocked efforts to step up protection of emperor penguins that are increasingly threatened by the effects global warming is having on their natural habitat in Antarctica.

About

Emperor Penguin Species:

  • The emperor is the largest living penguin species standing around 115cm tall.
  • Penguins are brilliant swimmers.
  • Emperor penguins have the deepest and longest dives for any bird, often reaching depths of over 200 metres.
  • Emperor’s are well adapted to thrive in the freezing conditions of the Antarctic.
  • To preserve heat, they have a dense double layer of feathers – about 70 feathers per square inch – large fat reserves and, proportionally, smaller beaks and flippers compared to other penguins. This all helps prevent heat loss.
  • Habitat:
    • Of the 18 different species of penguin, only two (the emperor and Adélie) are actually true Antarctic residents.
    • Breeding colonies of emperor penguins are found around the coast of the entire Antarctic continent.
    • Emperor penguins may be the only bird never to set foot on land as their colonies are on the sea ice and they even breed on frozen sea.
    • The Antarctic ice is vulnerable from climate change making the future uncertain for emperors.
  • Importance:
    • Emperor penguins are a vital part of the Antarctic food chain – they eat creatures like squid and small fish, and are an important source of food for predators like leopard seals and large sharks.
    • By protecting emperor penguins we’re helping look after their ocean environment, which is good for all the wildlife that depends on it.
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