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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

PenguinWatch Wants You

PenguinWatch Wants You

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Wednesday, April 13, 2016/Categories: natural history, wildlife conservation, birds, marine life, sustainability, environment, adventure

                         Chinstrap Penguin Rookery (credit: Penguin Watch)

Probably one of the most popular exhibits at any zoo for kids and adults alike is the penguin house. The waddling, ocean-diving, birds look like they came right out a Dr. Seuss storybook. Penguins inhabit the southern oceans and islands near Antarctica but also range up to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Peru, and Patagonia. However, according to PenguinWatch:

"Penguins are declining globally and the main suspects are climate change, reduced fisheries, disease, and environmental pollution. For penguin conservation and protection, it is important to understand how penguins are affected by these threats in order to mitigate them."

              

                            Penguin Habitat Range Map (credit: Defenders of Wildlife)

A collaborative research project between several universities and organizations including Oxford University, Louisiana State University, the British Antarctic Survey, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, aims to understand these threats to penguins. The results of field monitoring and genetic analysis will provide better insight into how penguin populations are changing. The findings will inform policy and help to better educate the public on the impacts of climate change on wildlife. One of the institutional partners, the Zoological Society of London, created a video to explain one aspect of this larger wildlife conservation project.

  

A major role is required from citizen scientists to assist this important research with online identifications of penguin species. The vision for Penguin Watch is explained here and you can get started now using the latest findings and help this wildlife reseach where your every ID click counts.

              

                        Penguin Species Identifications, Antarctic Region  (credit: Penguin Watch) 

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