What future for Crozet island’s king penguins?
Predicting the impact of future environmental changes on biodiversity is today a major challenge for ecologists. This is particularly true in the polar regions, where climate change is faster and more severe than anywhere else on the planet. In an article originally published in the Proceedings B of the Royal Society of London in 2012, Clara Péron looked at the impact of future warming of the Southern Ocean on a population of king penguins living on Crozet Island, a remote French subantarctic island. She used a unique database of Argos tracking data, collected from 1992 to 2008 by Charles-André Bost from the French CNRS (Centre National de La Recherche Scientifique), to construct habitat models and project the effect of global warming on king penguin foraging behavior. The results suggest that the warming of the Southern Ocean could represent a major challenge for these oceanic top-predators.
Article adapted from the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, Vol. 279, Clara Péron, Henri Weimerkirsch and Charles André Bost, Poleward shift of king penguins’ (Aptenodytes patagonicus) foraging range at the Crozet Islands, southern Indian Ocean, Pages 2515- 2523, May 25, 2012, with permission from Rightslink. Read the full article.
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