Icy Antarctica is blessed to be home to more than six million penguins which is approximately 3.6 million more than the previous estimate.
As per the research conducted by the researchers at the University of Adelaide, Australia, the previously estimated population of Adelie Penguins were 2.3 million. However, the new study discloses that the population of the ‘happy feet’ is close to six million.
The figures increased as the researchers in the earlier study focused on counting the breeding pairs which led to the misconceptions as the non-breeding penguins that were mostly out for prey were missed.
“Non-breeding birds are harder to count because they are out foraging at sea, rather than nesting in colonies on land,” claims a seabird ecologist with the Australian Antarctic Division. However, the study also shows that the non-breeding birds may be more than the breeding in numbers.
The upscale figure is exciting for the study as it means that the number of flightless birds interacting with humans is more that thought. Moreover, an increase in the number of penguins also means that there are more demands for their food, krill, and fishes.
Moreover, the declining sea ice may also make the access of prey easier for the eastern penguins.
This new research was conducted by an international team from Australia, France, and Japan. They used cameras, aerial and ground surveys were also conducted along the 5000-kilometer coastline of Antarctica.
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