Falklands penguins dying in thousands

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by Fukushi, Jun 23, 2002.

  1. Fukushi -meta consciousness- Registered Senior Member

    And nobody seems to even care,...

    By Gavin Finch
    19 June 2002
    Scientists are baffled by the deaths of thousands of penguins in the Falkland Islands.

    A Falklands farmer, David Pole Evans, was the first to notice that something was amiss when he saw penguins "just standing around, not looking very fit or healthy" in April.

    A few weeks later, he found thousands of dead penguins on the shore of Saunders Island and in the surrounding waters.

    He told the BBC that he estimated as many as 9,000 rockhopper penguins and 1,000 gentoo penguins, which are native to the South Atlantic region, have died so far.

    Post-mortem examinations have failed to produce any firm conclusions. Nick Huin, the scientific officer from Falklands Conservation, a charity, said: "We're worried, because we don't know exactly why it's happening."

    Tracking devices have been attached to 10 penguins in an attempt to solve the mystery. But Mike Bingham, a researcher who works with the International Penguin Conservation Work Group, based on the islands, said there was "no doubt" that the penguins are dying from starvation.

    The local penguins have been moulting a month later than usual. When they moult, they are no longer waterproof and therefore come ashore. But once removed from their food source, they need to be fat enough to survive on land.

    One possible explanation for the deaths is overfishing. Another is a drop in the sea temperature caused by the melting of Antarctic glaciers as a result of global warming. The cooler waters have caused the penguins' food source of squid to remain in Argentinian waters rather than move on the current to the Falklands.
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  3. Firefly Registered Senior Member

    :bugeye: Got any more links?!
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  5. Clarentavious Person Registered Senior Member

    I heard there was a disease in the waters near Sweden that is killing thousands of, seals was it? This same disease struck around 1980 I think, and killed like 10,000 I remember reading it in the paper a few days back, but don't recall the details
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  7. Firefly Registered Senior Member

    Do you remember how it was resolved?
  8. wet1 Wanderer Registered Senior Member


    Yes, you are right, I read that too, in the newspapers. Expectations are that thousands of Seals are going to die of this very contagious disease. The disease is spreading by the Seals, who travel along the coastlines to the Netherlands and further south. In the Netherlands they are trying to catch the Seals and bring them to a special care center for Seals which are sick or need help in other ways. I sincerely hope that they will save a lot of them. It's a real tragedy...
  9. Deepuz Registered Senior Member

    According to this article at seabirds.org, it is down to the establishment of a fishing industry.

  10. NenarTronian Teenaged Transhumanist Registered Senior Member

    Poor penguins. Just another example of the many things we did, do, are doing, and will do wrong concerning the environment. Maybe we won't mess up the next planet we get..though of course it probably won't be as diverse in life as this one, maybe it will. That'd be cool.
  11. Welkin Registered Member

    Penguins? PENGUINS????

    Those evil penguins were eating up all the poor innocent fishies! I'm not saying that the penguins deserved to be mass slaughtered (poor penguins...) but you could also extend some sympathy for the poor little fishies that are being harvested like wheat from the ocean (although they taste good when they're in fishcakes). I say that humans are simply evil, and that if humans stopped fishing, the fish would be happy and be able to live and flourish in the oceans! And then the penguins would have food, and then there would be penguins too!

    Besides, less fish = less fish eating plankton...
    Then the plankton populations will skyrocket, and you know what plankton does to the atmosphere. And that's not even scratching the surface of the damage that plankton could do to humans (though we deserve it). The stock market will crash, people will fall over in the streets from Black Plankton Disease, and the plankton, being so populated, will begin to form social classes and a detailed government system! And since they're smarter than humans, rather than fighting each other, they'll team up! All the plankton will join together in the Plankton Retalliaton Militia, and attack the humans! Our cities will fall to the armies of plankton, and soon, we will have to surrender to them, and be forced to be slaves to them. And then they'll sign a peace treaty and form alliances between all sea creatures, and the world will be renamed Earth. (Fish aren't THAT creative, you know).

    OMG my cucumber!! I completely forgot! I was gonna cut it up, and eat it with dip sauce.... it's been sitting on the counter for like TWO HOURS!! Well, I guess it's going back into the refrigerator, it's kinda late now.

    Poor Penguins... poor fishies...

    *sniff* people are mean to penguins. And to elephants. And to turtles. And to ants. And to birds. And to grass. And to oil deposites. And to fossils of ferns from the triassic period. And to those poor, poor protrons that are so horribly mutilated during the creation of unstable elements, like unnilennium. And to other people.

    Well, I guess all we can do it hope for the best... eventually we'll either learn to be nice to the animals... or we'll cause so much damage that we'll all die out, and then the animals will come back =)

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