Hundreds of penguins have been found dead off the coast of New Zealand, much to the chagrin of authorities, who have launched an investigation to find the cause of the strange phenomenon.
There are 183 small blue penguins in total. It was carefully collected, compiled, organized by local people and photographed for further investigation.
The birds, recognizable by their characteristic bright blue feathers, were spotted ninety miles off the coast last week, with the latest episode of this rare phenomenon previously occurring off the coast of New Zealand.
Korora, also known as the Little Blue Penguin, is the smallest penguin in the world and is native to New Zealand. They have been a common sight on the northern coast, and their characteristic feature of jumping dunes at dusk is slightly curved, although the Department of Defense (DoC) classifies their population. “In danger, in decline”.
Their deaths have come as a shock to locals, who have found hundreds of people stranded on the North Island coast in recent months. 183 on the Ninety Mile Beach arrived the same week, and more than 100 were dumped in the nearby Cable Bay and found stranded.. Locals photographed a herd of 109 dead on a ninety-mile stretch of beach in late May, and in mid-May a resident spotted 40 on Dokraw beach in the Northland region. The Department of Defense has other reports of at least 20 deaths on the same beach earlier this month.
On Northland social media groups, locals are discussing deaths with a growing sense of grief and alarm: Do fishermen catch and shoot birds? Is there anything in the water? Have they been hit by new types of diseases like avian malaria? Here are some questions to ask.
Graham Taylor, a senior science consultant in the Department of Conservation who studies seabirds, believes. More than 500 penguins have been trapped since the beginning of May 2022, and that number could reach close to 1,000..
“It is not possible to give the exact number because some have been found and buried by the people.” He told The Guardian.
Earlier in the year, Taylor says, scientists at the Ministry of Primary Industry decided to test some of the dead birds by spreading a new virus or disease into the colonies. They searched for infections and toxins. They decided the birds were starving.
“All the bodies were found to be of very low weight. These birds should weigh about 800 to 1,000 grams, but they have lost half their weight.Taylor said. “They have no body fat on them and no muscle to show. When they get to that point, they can not dive. “.
Eventually the birds simply die, due to lack of fat to keep them warm due to starvation or hypothermia.
The Department of Defense believes that corrodes do not starve due to overfishing. On the contrary, Climate change has created much hotter water for the fish they eat. Data released last year saw the hottest sea temperature in recorded history, breaking this record for the sixth year in a row. In New Zealand, this combined with La Nina weather created ocean heat waves. As the water warms, the small fish eaten by the corora move further in search of cold water or leave the area entirely.
“These little penguins can dive up to 20 or 30 meters on a regular basis, but diving deeper than that is not so good.” Taylor explained. Warm water temperatures in winter can keep fish out of their reach.
Large-scale sea tiger deaths are not historically unknown: Severe storms, heat waves or weather events can bring tens of thousands or hundreds of birds ashore.. According to the scientist, the frequency changed. Previously, this number of deaths occurred once a decade. In the last 10 years, he says, there have been mass deaths for at least three years and their frequency is increasing.
New Zealand’s councilor Ian Armitage says the number of penguins found this year is unusually high, especially in the north. Recent storms and high water temperatures are expected to cause more mass deaths. “This event is probably not over and will continue throughout the winter.” Armitage told the British media. “Many more small penguins have been discovered.”
As man-made climate change continues to warm the world and its oceans, the species may eventually die off in the warmer parts of the North Island.
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