Satellite pics of Antarctic reveal double penguin numbers

Emperor penguin count The BBC announced last week that the total number of Emperor penguins living in the Antarctic had been grossly underestimated. Satellite images at high magnification had shown that in fact it was possible to count penguins individually. The images were analysed by a team of scientists including Phil Trathan (British Antarctic Survey) and Michelle LaRue (University of Minnesota). As a result of a more accurate count, Emperor penguin numbers in the Antarctic have grown from an estimated 300,000 to as many as 595,000. This does not count birds which might have been in the sea. However, just because there are more than we originally thought, this does not mean that any less importance should be given to their conservation status. Furthermore, let us hope this technology might be used to count populations of other species in areas difficult to reach.


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