April 27, 2019
Antarctica’s second-biggest breeding ground for emperor penguins — Halley Bay, where about 20,000 pairs of penguins (about 8 percent of the global population of the species) normally breeds — has gone barren for the past few years. Scientists say that almost none of the penguins have been there since 2016.
According to this article from the AP, scientists attribute the sharp decline to climate change and weather conditions that break apart the “fast ice” — sea ice that’s connected to the land — where the emperor penguins stay to breed. They incubate their eggs and tend to their chicks — one per pair — on ice. After breeding and tending to the chicks, the penguins move to open sea.