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Sat, Feb-13-2016 10:09:41

Giant iceberg kills 150,000 Adélie penguins in Antarctica

An entire colony of Adélie penguins is heading for extinction after an iceberg larger than the country of Luxembourg grounded at Commonwealth Bay, blocking access to the sea and forcing the penguins to travel considerably longer distances to feed. The iceberg trapped the Adélie penguins. The colony once thrived with easy access at Cape Denison in Commonwealth Bay where strong winds blowing off the ice kept a large area of water open near shore. But once the iceberg grounded, the distance to the feeding grounds became a 75-mile round trip. In contrast, another population of Adélie penguins on the eastern fringe of Commonwealth Bay just five miles from the edge of the fast ice (sea ice fastened to the coastline) is thriving. This led researchers to believe the iceberg and fast ice expansion was responsible for the population decline.