New Emperor Penguin Colonies Discovered

Written by on November 11, 2012 in Marine Life

Two new emperor penguin colonies were recently discovered in Antarctica, nearly tripling population estimates.

The new colonies are home to about 6,000 chicks.  Because emperor penguins can successfully raise only one chick each season, this means there are about 8,500 pairs of breeding penguins.

The colonies were discovered on the winter sea ice on November 1st and 2nd when the French icebreaker Astrolabe made a late trip towards Dumont d’Urville, the location of the original colony.  The decision to modify the Astrolabe’s route was made by the French Polar Institute (IPEV) to allow Dr. André Ancel and Dr. Yvon Le Maho to search for the population.

“This success rewards the long-term attempts and dedication of Dr André Ancel.  It is also the outcome of a national and international collaboration,” concluded Dr. Yvon Le Maho.

Emperor penguin colony.

Emperor penguin colony. Photo credit: Michael Van Woert, NOAA/NESDIS/ORA.

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Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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