Researchers sound alarm over Antarctic penguin chick deaths - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Researchers sound alarm over Antarctic penguin chick deaths

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Photo: WWF-Australia Photo: WWF-Australia
BERLIN -

Scientists say thousands of chicks from an Adelie penguin colony in the eastern Antarctic died of starvation last summer - the second such die-off in over 40 years.

Yan Ropert-Coudert, a marine ecologist with the French science agency CNRS who led the research, said Sunday that the "catastrophic breeding failure" occurred because unusually large amounts of sea ice forced penguin parents to travel farther to search for food.

By the time they returned, only two chicks had survived.

The environmental group WWF, which supported the research, is urging governments meeting in Hobart, Australia, this week to approve a marine protection area off East Antarctica.

Ropert-Coudert says such a protection zone wouldn't prevent larger-than-usual sea ice, but it might ease the pressure on penguins from tourism and over-fishing.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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