‘If we don’t worry about the imminent threats now, it’s probably not worth worrying about the medium-term future’
A penguin dives in and out of the icy waters near the Antarctic Peninsula. bberwyn photo.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — The world’s penguins could use a little help, a team of leading conservation biologists said last month, announcing results of a study that systematically assessed global risks to the southern hemisphere sea birds.
While global warming remains a long-term threat, other impacts, primarily related to human activities, are a more clear and present danger, the scientists said, advocating for a more widespread network of marine protected areas to buffer penguins from pollution, tourism and fishing.
“We need to address some of these issues before we think about resilience to climate change,” said Dr. Phil Trathan, head of conservation biology with the British Antarctic Survey. “If we don’t worry about the imminent threats now, it’s probably not worth worrying about the medium-term future,” Trathan said, explaining that penguins living and breeding in southern Africa and South America face the highest risks.
“If you want to create resilient populations, deal with some of the immediate threats, and where the threats are most evident is where penguins inhabit areas close to mankind,” he said. Continue reading
Filed under: Antarctica, biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, global warming | Tagged: Antarctica, climate change, conservation, endangered species, marine protected areas, penguins | 1 Comment »