Responses of Antarctic Penguins to the Effects of Climate Change
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
Penguins have adapted to their environment through millenia of great climate changes. This makes them more susceptible to climate change as their size, morphology and other cold weather adaptations restricts their ability to feed and travel. They are living at the extreme of their capabilities and small changes can have a huge impact on them. For Antarctic penguins the process of adapting to the polar climate has taken millennia to achieve and the current climatic changes are happening too fast for them to keep up. The effects of Antarctic warming are influencing the penguins breeding habitats, chick success, food availability, competition and distribution. The specific responses of penguins to climate change include: poleward shifts in geographic distribution; range contraction (or expansion); changes in the timing of biological events (their phenology) and changes in predator/prey interactions. This review will overview the current knowledge of how Adélie and Emperor penguins specifically respond to the current changing climate.
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