The penguin population on Marion Island, a South African island in the Antarctic, is declining fast, reports the Sunday Times. A similar trend has been picked up on Gough Island, a British-owned island on which South Africa has a research station. The Rockhopper and Gentoo penguin species have declined the most.
Rising temperatures of the water in the Antarctic has led to decreases in squid and krill, which are important food sources for penguins. The average temperature of Marion Island has increased from 5,3 C sixty years ago to 6,8 C currently, while the average rainfall has dropped from 2 800 mm to 1 900 mm per annum.
The South African government is investing in climate change research and has signed a deal to replace the S A Agulhas, the ship used to travel to the Antarctic, due to its age, at the cost of R 1,3 billion.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com