$55 Raised * $5,000 Goal
Current Project

Emperor Penguin Populations

So how do you count penguins? All you need is a plane, a really good camera and a lot of time. Scientists from Scripps Institute of Oceanography fly planes over these areas and take high resolution pictures of the colonies. Then, back at the University of California in San Diego, graduate students painstakingly review the pictures and count each penguin. By doing this each year, scientists get a clearer picture of why some rookeries are growing and why some are shrinking. Once scientists know what changes are happening with emperor penguin populations, then they can look closer at what is causing the changes.


Help our Penguins

Emperor penguins are hard to miss. Standing nearly four feet tall, they are the largest species of penguin and can weigh up to 90 lbs. They are top predators in the Antarctic environment but are threatened by climate change, overfishing and pollution. Recent studies of some penguin rookeries in the Ross Sea have shown dramatic changes in populations. At Coulman Island, chick counts are half of what they have been, but at Cape Colbeck, they have doubled in size. Scientists want to learn more about these changes in populations, and more importantly, what may be causing these dramatic changes.