Quirks & Quarks

Adélie Penguins May Thrive in Warmer Antarctic

Adélie Penguins nest on rocky ground and so may benefit from more exposed nesting areas, though other populations may suffer from loss of sea ice.

Penguins who nest on rocky ground may benefit from ice retreat.

Adélie penguin (Jane Younger)
The Adélie penguin population in the East Antarctic may be the beneficiary of climate change. Dr. Jane Younger researched this species of penguin while she was with the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, Australia.

The study found that shrinking glaciers expose more potential nesting sites for the Adélie penguin. Unlike many other species of penguin, the Adélie makes its nest on rocky ground, rather than ice.

But not all Adélie populations will thrive. The study also found that changing sea ice, (which they make use of for foraging) due to rising temperatures, may have a negative impact on some Adélie colonies in other parts of the Antarctic. 

Related Links

- Paper in BMC Evolutionary Biology
- University of Tasmania release
- BioMed Central blog
- BioMed Central release