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  • Jan - March 2007
  • April - June 2007
  • July - Sept 2007
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Penguin news from January - March 2007

Look out: These are older news flashes, so it's quite possible some links/sources doesn't work properly anymore!
  • Anchovy fishing threatens Patagonia penguins (5 January 2007)

    In the film "Happy Feet" trawlers steal all the fish from emperor penguins but there it has a happy ending.
    In real life the expanding anchovy fishing industry in the Southern Ocean is cutting supplies of the Magellanic penguins' main food. Scientists say that the commercial fishing will soon reach unsustainable levels and are urging strict quotas and conservation protection schemes to save the penguins for food shortage.

    Source: The Times, MercoPress and Birdlife.org

  • "Gekke pinguïndans" by KetNetBand (Belgium - January 2007)

    The Belgian Ketnetband has made a new single "Gekke Pinguïndans". It's a funny song (in Dutch) with a clip, inspired by the film "Happy Feet".
    You can listen to the song on the homepage of Ketnet.

    Source: Ketnet

  • Munroe the "Groucho Marx" Penguin has Happy Feet (Australia - 11 January 2007)

    A rare Fiordland penguin (also known as "Groucho Marx" because of their distinctive bushy eyebrows), found exhausted on an Australian beach after a 2000 km swim, has been saved by Sydney zookeepers. The penguin, nick-named "Munroe", was taken to Sydney's Taronga Zoo, where he is now the only male of his species in captivity in the world. He will soon have to earn his keep by snuggling up to two lonely females of his vulnerable species.
    The Fiordland crested penguin is one of the world's most endangered penguin species and is usually found in the frigid sub-Antarctic waters off southern New Zealand. The distinctive call of fiordland penguins has been described as a cross between a grunting pig and a goose with a cold. Shy and timid fiordland penguins nest in coastal forests along the fiords of southern New Zealand and are threatened by habitat destruction, fisheries and introduced predators. There are estimated to be only 1,000 breeding pairs left in the wild.

    Source: Planet Ark and Stuff.co.nz

  • Bird on "endangered" list (New Zealand - 17 January 2007)

    The Fiordland crested penguin has been added to the Department of Conservation's nationally endangered list along with several other southern species of birds, fish and reptiles.

    Source: The Southland Times

  • Mumbles swims 1300km for a holiday (New Zealand - 20 January 2007)

    Hot on the heels of Munroe (see news 11 January) comes the story of Mumbles, a second Fiordland crested penguin who may have set a record for long-distance domestic travel after swimming 1300km from Fiordland to Muriwai, in West Auckland (Australia).
    The penguin was taken to the SPCA BirdWing in West Auckland and into the hands of bird specialist Lyn MacDonald. Later on, he will be returned (by flight, not swimming) to his natural environment in the Fjordlands in Southern New-Zealand.
    Department of Conservation technical support officer Dave Houston said Fiordland crested penguins were known to show up in odd places, even in Australia, but Muriwai was the furthest north he was aware of.

    Source: The New Zealand Herald

  • 10 healthy yellow-eyed penguin chicks found in New Zealand (24 January 2007)

    The discovery of 10 healthy yellow-eyed penguin chicks at Pegasus on Stewart Island was a boost to researchers looking for answers into penguin chick deaths elsewhere on the island, Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust southern islands project officer Sandy King said.

    Source: The Southland Times

  • Huddling and a drop in metabolism allow penguins to survive the South Pole cold (Antarctica - 31 January 2007)

    A team of scientists has published a study in the American Journal of Physiology looking at whether male emperor penguins lower their body temperature during breeding and incubation as an energy saving mechanism.

    Source: Biology News Net

  • Penguin tour in Germany (Germany - January/February 2007)

    The Swiss polar photographers Heiner and Rosamaria Kubny come to Germany with their Panorama-Multivisions-Show "Im Reich der Pinguine"
    When you live close and understand German, it is really recommendable, because their pictures are beautiful.

    Source: Ticket order directly on Pinguine.ch(GE)

  • International Polar Year starts on March 1th, 2007 (25 February 2007)

    The International Polar Year is a large scientific programme focused on the Arctic and the Antarctic from March 2007 to March 2009.
    IPY, organized through the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), is actually the fourth polar year, following those in 1882-3, 1932-3, and 1957-8.
    It will involve over 200 projects, with thousands of scientists from over 60 nations examining a wide range of physical, biological and social research topics. It is also an unprecedented opportunity to demonstrate, follow, and get involved with, cutting edge science in real-time.
    Belgium makes an extra effort by opening again a new polar station: "Prinses Elisabeth basis".
    Fifty years ago, during the International Polar Year 1957/58 they already opened the "Koning Boudewijn basis". But, due to financial problems, it was officially closed again on 31 January 1961.

    Source: ipy.org en euroipy.org

  • "Happy Feet" wins Oscar for animated feature (26 February 2007)

    The animated film "Happy Feet" (Warner Bros), with many funny penguin characters like Mumble, Gloria, Lace, Ramon and many more, recieved last night an Oscar for best animated feature 2007.
    The film comes out on DVd on March 27th.

    Source: Oscar.com

  • African penguin population drops 40 percent - cause unknown (2 maart 2007)

    New data indicate that the number of african penguin populations have fallen by 40 percent in the past few years, according to an article published in the 2 March 2007 issue of "Science". Biologists are still searching for possible reasons.

    Source: Mongabay.com

  • "Happy Feet" released on DVD (22 March 2007)

    The Award winning animated film "Happy Feet" (Warner Bros), with many funny penguin characters like Mumble, Gloria, Lace, Ramon and many more, comes out on DVD at March 27th, 2007.
    I dedicated an extra, special page to this lovely film.

    Source: "Happy Feet" (Warner Bros)

Penguin news from April - June 2007

Look out: These are older news flashes, so it's quite possible some links/sources doesn't work properly anymore!
  • Penguins on treadmills help reveal over-fishing (3 April 2007)

    Dr. Lewis Halsey of the University of Birmingham and his colleagues are taking a somewhat unusual approach to monitoring the effects of over-fishing and warming seas on Southern Ocean fish stocks.
    Instead of using trawling nets and counting the fish they bring up – with very high costs – the researchers have recruited king penguins to do the job for them.

    Source: NewScientist.com and Society for Experimental Biology press release

  • Oil leaves its mark on penguins (South Africa - 5 April 2007)

    Research shows that African penguins, which were oiled and subsequently cleaned and released during the Treasure oil spill crisis in June 2000 (see oilspill), are not breeding as well as their non-oiled counterparts.

    Source: IOL news

  • Drastic drop in Algoa Bay's penguin population (26 April 2007)

    A census, undertaken last month by the environment and tourism department's marine and coastal management, has shown the number of African penguins in Algoa Bay, Port Elizabeth (South Africa) has plunged by at least 50% in seven years. The census findings provide a sombre preface to National Bird Week (April 30 to May 6), which this year focuses on marine and seashore birds, symbolised by the African penguin.

    Source: Herald online.

  • Confused penguin strays 5000km (11 May 2007)

    A Magellanic penguin whose natural habitat is the cool climes of southern Chile has strayed thousands of miles from his home, arriving in Peru.

    Source: BBC NewsSydney Morning Herald and Netzeitung.de

  • "Surf's up" : a new film with surfing penguins (20 May 2007)

    A new film with surfing penguins, called "Surf's up" (Sony Pictures), will be released on June 8th, 2007 in the States.

    Official website: "Surf's up" (Sony Pictures).

  • Sea lion acquires taste for rare delight (New Zealand - 5 June 2007)

    Sea lions on the Otago coast ( New Zealand) with a taste for yellow-eyed penguins are creating a dilemma for conservationists trying to save both species.

    Source: NZ Herald

  • Pulp mill penguin fears (10 June 2007)

    Toxic discharges from the proposed Gunns pulp mill could be a further blow to Tasmania's declining population of little penguins, Birds Tasmania says.

    Source: Mercury

  • March of the Giant Penguins (25 June 2007)

    Scientists have found fossils of a giant penguin in Peru. The penguin was 1,5 meter tall and had a large bill. It also showed that two heretofore undiscovered penguin species reached equatorial regions tens of millions of years earlier than expected and during a period when the earth was much warmer than it is now.

    Source: NC State University and Spiegel (GE)

Penguin news from July - September 2007

Look out: These are older news flashes, so it's quite possible some links/sources doesn't work properly anymore!
  • Penguins' struggle is a warning to world (1 July 2007)

    Adélie penguins are being stalked by a threat they cannot see and cannot fight off: the weather. The birds, who have adapted over millions of years to the most extreme climate on Earth, are beginning to die off by the tens of thousands as a result of global warming.

    Source: Chicago Tribune

  • Oil kills penguins in Uruguay (5 July 2007)

    At least 100 magellanic penguins were found on several Uruguayan beaches covered in oil, most of them dead.

    Source: Reuters and Planet Ark

  • Ancient eggshell fragments show diet of penguins changed (10 July 2007)

    The more than two centuries of whaling have changed the Adélie penguins diet. Penguins have put krill on their diet plan and researchers fear that increased krill fishing could endanger the penguins again. Research of collected fossilised egg shells (some shells are up to 38,000 years old) and modern-day egg shells have come up with an interesting change in the diet of the penguin. It seems that the abundance of krill, due to the extensive whale hunt (main diet of many whales) made a nice variation to their normal fish diet. It is uncertain why the penguins added krill to their menu, the most likely explanation could be the availability of the little shrimp-like marine invertebrate animals. It was problably easier to catch a mouth full of krill than having to search after fish. However, due to global warming, ocean polution and not at least the ban on commercial whaling have diminished the amount of krill.
    One could argue that it would be possible for the penguins to change their diet again but as one researcher put it: "Their dietary flexibility demonstrates the penguins' ability to adjust to large ecological changes, but that doesn't mean they'll survive the changes to come".

    Source: New Scientist

  • Ten penguin species under protection (13 July 2007)

    Under the US Endangered Species Act, steps have been taken by the US to institute protection for ten penguin species, amongst them the emperor and humboldt penguin. Most of these species are found around Antarctica.
    The penguins are under threat from commercial fishing, contamination and pollution and climate change. (see also enemies)
    The US government's Fish and Wildlife Service want to have the penguin species put on the list of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which according to a statement from the Fish and Wildlife Service would give them "limited and indirect protection".

    Source: IOL

  • UNCW Professor using penguin remains to measure Antarctic ice movement (19 July 2007)

    Professor Steven Emslie, a marine ornithologist in the Department of Biology and Marine Biology at University of North Carolina Wilmington (USA), has charted the ancient penguin colonies’ population shifts with climate change data and sea-ice extent to create a new and reliable method of dating ice movement. He has done it by estimating the age of Adélie penguin remains using radiocarbon dating.

    Source: UNCW News

  • Satellite tracking will help answer questions about penguin travels (6 August 2007)

    University of Washington scientists will attach satellite tracking devices to the backs of six magellanic penguins that have been rehabilitated after being oiled. The birds will be released into the Atlantic Ocean and their movements traced using satellites and the Internet.
    Follow the tracking here

    Source: University of Washington press

  • Yellow-eyed penguins 'stressed out' by tourists (New Zealand - 6 August 2007)

    The yellow-eyed penguin colony at Sandfly Bay on the Otago Peninsula is under threat from tourists as thousands of people annually seek out the shy birds. Those tourists come to close trying to get pictures with the shy birds or getting between the birds and their nests, forcing them back into the sea and delaying chicks' feeding times. Therefore the penguins at the bay had high amounts of stress-induced hormone concentrations, suggesting they were suffering from the frequent intrusions.

    Source: Stuff.co.nz

  • Fiordland crested penguins return to Milford Sound (New Zealand - 10 August 2007)

    The rare Fiordland crested penguins are returning to Milford Sound in New Zealand, which means winter is definitely on its way out.
    Real Journeys nature guide Richard Heyward says the birds have been arriving in their ones and twos since mid-July. "They turn up about the same time every year - with most coming back in August. It's a sure sign that spring is on its way."

    Source: Scoop News

  • What can dying penguins tell us about the future of the planet? (20 August 2007)

    An fascinating extract from "The Ferocious Summer: Palmer's penguins and the warnings of Antarctica" by Meredith Hooper, who spent a summer in Antarctica and discovered a living experiment gone horribly wrong.

    Source: Independent.ie

  • Penguin conference (10 September 2007)

    Around 180 delegates from Australasia, Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas presented their research findings on the planet's 17 species of penguins at the 6th International Penguin Conference, held at the University of Tasmania in Hobart last week. The researchers looked at the threats facing penguins, and what can be done to protect them.

    Source: ABC Tasmania

  • Magellanes rockhopper population reaches 316 thousand (Chile - 27 September 2007)

    Scientists have reported that the population of southern rockhopper penguins on Isla Noir in southern Chile, the most important colony for southern rockhoppers in South America, has risen to 316 000.
    Environmentalists stressed the importance of this increase in population, especially in light of the drop in the species' population in previous decades.

    Source: The Santiago Times and Merco Press

Penguin news from October - December 2007

Look out: These are older news flashes, so it's quite possible some links/sources doesn't work properly anymore!
  • New public yellow-eyed penguin reserve in Otago (New Zealand - 27 November 2007)

    The Department of Conservation (DOC) and the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust have together purchased farmland on the Catlins Coast that is home to 10 per cent of yellow-eyed penguins on mainland New Zealand.

    Source: Scoop

  • Penguins safely lower oxygen to 'blackout' levels (Antarctica - 7 December 2007)

    Emperor penguins may have a supercharged form of a blood protein that allows them to dive underwater for more than 20 minutes on a single breath, a new study suggests. The research showed that penguins in Antarctica return from long fishing excursions under the sea ice with the lowest blood oxygen levels ever recorded in wild animals.

    Source: National Geographic News

  • Penguins in peril as climate warms (Indonesia - 11 December 2007)

    The penguin population of Antarctica is under pressure from global warming, according to a WWF report. The report, Antarctic Penguins and Climate Change, shows that the four populations of penguins that breed on the Antarctic continent - Adélie, emperor, chinstrap and gentoo - are under escalating pressure. For some, global warming is taking away precious ground on which penguins raise their young. For others, food has become increasingly scarce because of warming in conjunction with overfishing.

    Source: WWF press, IOL and IOL

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