Climate Change Directly Responsible for Penguin Deaths

Written by on January 30, 2014 in Other News

Daily Summary

Magellanic penguin chicks.

Magellanic penguin chicks. Photo credit: Gerald Davison via photopin cc.

Deaths attributed directly to climate change cast pall over penguins
A new long-term study reveals that heat waves and drenching rainstorms — direct results of climate change — are killing penguin chicks from the world’s largest colony of Magellanic penguins. The dangerous age is when the chicks are too big to be protected by their parents, but too young to have grown waterproof feathers. Without waterproof feathers, they can die of hypothermia during extreme downpours, and they can’t take a cooling dip in the water during heat waves. This study is the first to show the impact that climate change is having on chick survival and reproductive success. Over the 27-year period, 65 percent fo chicks died per year, 40 percent as a result of starvation. Climate change was responsible for an average of seven percent of chick deaths, but some years it was the leading cause.

Great white shark.

Great white shark. Photo credit: gaftels via photopin cc.

Mexico bans fishing for Great white sharks
Earlier this week, the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food established a permanent ban on fishing for great white sharks in Mexican waters. The new rule states that all white sharks caught incidentally during recreational or commercial fishing must be released immediately.

Walmart changes its seafood policy
Before the change, Walmart only sold fish in its stores that was certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or an ‘equivalent’. Many in the Alaskan salmon industry felt this policy was unfair because there is no exact equivalent to the MSC certification. Walmart wouldn’t accept their seafood even though they are committed to sustainability. Now, Walmart has revised its policy to incorporate certifications that meet the principles set by The Sustainability Consortium (TSC).

MSC certified herring.

MSC certified herring. Photo credit: Marine Stewardship Council via photopin cc.

Copyright © 2014 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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