June 25, 2022

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Massive death toll of penguins off New Zealand beaches: Water experts blame warming

Massive death toll of penguins off New Zealand beaches: Water experts blame warming

Hundreds of Corora penguins, Of New Zealand And is considered the smallest in the worldFamine deaths appeared last month off the coast of the country’s north island, an event linked to extreme warming of the waters. To the climate crisis.

It is estimated that about 500 penguins have died since the beginning of May, although the exact number of deaths is unknown. “Of course the figures reported by those northern beaches (by the public) are generally higher than expected.”I said EFE Graeme Taylor, a sea tiger expert at the New Zealand Ministry of Defense.

The deaths of Corora, who live mainly on the islands off the coast of New Zealand, but move to the mainland to build nests, They have been reported since May 2 off the coast of Tokyo in the northern part of the North Island to Auckland Beach.

Records of these deaths are given in any period (May and June) Adult birds move to shoreS New Zealand is preparing the nests in a big effort, as they have to walk 1.5 km and climb 300 meters. Perfect location for bushes, holes or caves and sometimes houses or sheds.

About 500 penguins have been reported deadNew Zealand Ministry of Defense

New Zealand authorities confirmed the penguins Utiputla Minor, about 25 cm long and blue in color with a white chest, died of starvation.

Penguin carcasses “(they) have half of their normal weight (1.5 kg) with no fat in their muscles and their muscle mass is reduced. They were in bad shape, “Taylor explained. The water there will be cold.

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Death to the endangered Corora species in New Zealand, especially due to human development in coastal areas And with the introduction of new predators such as dogs, they were linked to the La Nina phenomenon and the dual warming of the water created by the arrival of tropical waters from the north.

This “rare situation” had an impact on these penguins, which were unable to fly, could not chase fish moving southward into the cold waters, or dive deeper than 30 meters. To find food, an official from the Ministry of Defense urged.

According to experts, the surprising deaths may have been caused by rising water temperatures.
According to experts, the surprising deaths may have been caused by rising water temperatures.New Zealand Ministry of Defense

In this situation the penguin is expected to “try to leave or find food elsewhere”. Although Taylor suspects this may indicate a trend for a long time, the risk of starvation will continue for several months until sea temperatures stabilize in the southern winter.

“These events happen so often, I think this is the third time in the last five or six years. Previously, it was rare in a decade … and The long-term impact is that these birds will not have time to recover Develops between these events And the population will continue to decline.Taylor moaned as he referred to the heat waves. While 4,734 penguins were killed by New Zealand authorities in 1974, more than 1,000 cormorants were killed in 1985 (5,386) and 1998 (3,517), and the death toll for this year remains. Harvesting process.