Emperor Penguins Counted from Space

Census doubles previous estimations


Scientists from the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia on Friday released data that suggests the population of emperor penguins on Antarctica is twice as large as previously believed. The researchers used satellite technology to locate colonies, measuring droppings tallying individuals with high-resolution images. The study identified 44 major colonies, including seven that had been unknown, and counted 595,000 penguins. Climate models suggest that emperor penguin numbers could dwindle as warmer temperatures erode Antarctic ice floes. This is the first comprehensive species census conducted from space.

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