Penguin colony numbers collapse, with climate change thought to be to blame

Penguin colony numbers collapse, with climate change thought to be to blame

Numbers of one species of penguin have fallen by almost 60% in one of its most important breading colonies, new research has found.

Breeding pairs of the chinstrap penguin on Elephant Island, north east of the Antarctic peninsula have decreased from 122,550 recorded in 1971 to just 52,786 today – with climate change thought to be behind the drop.

Reduced sea ice and warmer oceans is thought to have led to less krill, the small shrimp-like creatures that the penguins primarily feed on.