They may not be tap dance masters or strategic geniuses, but Magellanic penguins have their own set of skills. Learn about them in this Wildlife Wednesday!
Whether through their militaristic tactics in Madagascar or their mad dancing skills in Happy Feet, penguins of all species have been taking the world by storm. This week for Wildlife Wednesday, we’re fishing for some information about one of those species, the Magellanic penguin, and are sharing our findings with you.
While these particular flightless birds are known to take the occasional swim down to Antarctica, they normally make their homes along the chilly coastal areas of Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, the Falkland Islands, and even the southern regions of Brazil.
Why are they threatened?
With an estimated 1.3 million breeding pairs, you would think that these classy fish-eaters would be pretty safe. Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily the case; research teams have proven that this bird’s numbers are on the decline.
Global warming is a major cause of this, as the increasing number of rainstorms means that chicks—who don’t have the same waterproofing that their parents do—get drenched and develop hypothermia. In other cases, heat waves that roll through nesting grounds leave chicks high and dry, as they can’t cool themselves by taking a swim.
Other threats are caused by fisheries, which may affect the penguins’ food sources, and oil pollution.