World News

World's biggest king penguin colony shrinks nearly 90 percent

World's biggest king penguin colony shrinks nearly 90 percent

According to a recent research, the planet's largest king penguin colony has shrunk by almost 90 per cent since the 1980s.

The colony lies on the subantarctic French island of Île aux Cochons, or Pig Island, and once numbered over two million king penguins.

But recent satellite images show the "colony has declined by 88 percent, from about 500,000 breeding pairs to 60,000 pairs", the study found. When scientists last stepped foot on the island in 1982, it was not only the world's largest king penguin colony, but the second largest colony of all penguins.

King penguins stand at about one metre tall. "The same process may be responsible for the fate of the Ile aux Cochons colony".

"Ile aux Cochons is rarely visited, and the use of satellite images has allowed the detection of this unexpected phenomenon".

The cause of the population collapse remains a mystery with scientists speculating that climate fluctuations or disease could be to blame.

Although feral cats and house mice are not known predators of king penguin chicks, their behavior towards native fauna has changed. Disease and parasites could also be to blame.

World's biggest king penguin colony shrinks nearly 90 percent
World's biggest king penguin colony shrinks nearly 90 percent

Researchers are also entertaining disease as a possible cause for the king penguin population's staggering decline as a hypothesis, although none of the theories now being considered by the research team can account for the sheer magnitude of the king penguin population decline on the island.

A catastrophic event seems to have been unlikely; there is no evidence of a tsunami hitting the island nor of any volcanic eruption.

Indeed, Weimerskirch and colleagues showed in an earlier study that climate change, on its current trajectory, will likely make the Iles Crozet - the archipelago that contains Ile aux Cochon - unviable for King penguins by mid-century.

According to CNN, the decline appears to have begun in the late 1990s, around the same time as an El Niño event, which drove fish and other creatures south, away from the king penguins.

Scientific reference: Henri Weimerskirch, Fabrice Le Bouard, Peter G. Ryan, C.A. Bost.

According to Science Daily, researchers have noted a drastic drop in population size in the biggest colony of king penguins, located in the National Reserve of the French Southern and Atlantic Lands (TAAF).

More news: Trump thanks North Korea's Kim for handing over war remains


  • What does interest rate rise mean for mortgages and savings?

    What does interest rate rise mean for mortgages and savings?

    The bank had last revised its interest rate on May 28, ahead of second bi-monthly monetary policy for 2018-19 announced on June 6. The Bank sees continuing "modest" economic growth of 1.4% this year and an increase to 1.8% next year.

    British Iranian Kurd one of four Fields math medal winners

    Peter Scholze, a 30-year-old professor at the University of Bonn , was the youngest victor . It is only awarded every four years to up to four mathematicians who are under 40.
    Happy birthday, J.K Rowling! We owe you the entire wizarding world!

    Happy birthday, J.K Rowling! We owe you the entire wizarding world!

    J.K Rowling was the reason we got introduced to the magical world. "He was my mum and dad's best friend. Hermione Granger: The girl who delivers Ron and Harry from danger (again and again and again)".
  • Swedish crown jewel thieves escape in speedboat in daylight robbery

    Swedish crown jewel thieves escape in speedboat in daylight robbery

    It was a daring daytime heist involving crown jewels, a cathedral, a speedboat, and little in the way of clues, at least so far. Strangnas cathedral has been closed so that "technical examinations" can be carried out, a police statement added.
    Your questions about 3D guns answered

    Your questions about 3D guns answered

    Attorney Josh Blackman, represents Defense Distributed, the Texas-based company releasing the 3D-printed plastic gun blueprints. Some plastic-gun designers got around the restriction by adding a removable metal block.
    Nvidia teases

    Nvidia teases "spectacular surprises" at Gamescom pre-show party

    That's where we'll hear about the new graphics cards, in what Nvidia is describing as a " GeForce Gaming Celebration ". As the long wait for the next generation of graphics cards continues, Nvidia has scheduled an event at Gamescom 2018 .
  • California wildfires kill 8 people, and brutal heat spells more danger

    California wildfires kill 8 people, and brutal heat spells more danger

    The Carr Fire started about a week ago outside Redding, California, and doubled in size over the weekend, according to Reuters . Donna and Billy Gill were forced by the fire to flee their Redding home and did not know when they'd be allowed to return.

    Facebook, Instagram roll out new tools to manage time online

    Lastly, you can also use this page to mute any and all push notifications for 15 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, 4 hours, or 8 hours. Facebook and Instagram are to introduce tools to help users manage their time on the social networks, Facebook has announced.
    Kim Jong Un invited to Asian Games in Indonesia

    Kim Jong Un invited to Asian Games in Indonesia

    North Korea has steadfastly argued its nuclear weapons are meant to neutralize alleged U.S. plans to attack it. Asked about the report , the Pentagon declined to comment.
  • Trump threatens higher tariffs on China

    President Trump plans to impose 25 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of imported Chinese goods, a report said on Tuesday . The implementation could be delayed for weeks as the administration works out the details of which products it will target.
    Forest City Realty Trust, Inc., (NYSE: FCE-A)

    Forest City Realty Trust, Inc., (NYSE: FCE-A)

    Total volume is the number of shares or deals that point towards the overall activity of a security or market for a given period. The Forest City Realty Trust, Inc . has shown a five days performance of 1.85% and thirty days performance stands at 1.32%.
    Billionaire Charles Koch warns Trump's trade war could trigger USA  recession

    Billionaire Charles Koch warns Trump's trade war could trigger USA recession

    One of Koch's top aides, Brian Hooks, took aim at the fact that federal spending has continued to run rampant under GOP control. Charles Koch has also for years established himself as the more public face and voice of the network.