Zookeeper Zuzanna Matyasova, who was snapped giving the birds a
health check, said: "It really is proving a fantastic year for our
penguins and I'm delighted with how well all ten of our chicks are
doing. I feel like a proud mum!"
You can even pop by and see the
fluffy birds at their special chick nursery at the zoo's Penguin Beach
exhibit. We'll race you there!
Just how the bird made it to land is a mystery. Photo / Jason Dorday
The little blue penguin found wandering on an Auckland road has been transferred to a vet clinic after throwing up its food.
penguin had been recovering at the NZ Bird Rescue Charitable Trust in
Green Bay after being found on Shore Rd, Remuera, about 4am on Sunday.
centre founder Lyn McDonald said the little bird was being fed a
specialised diet through a tube, as penguins dislike eating food they
It had taken in four or five feeds, but had now started throwing up. "I've just made a phone call now to get him off to the vet,'' she said. "He's very, very thin and it can get a bit dicey when they're thin,'' she said.
penguin was rescued by 21-year-olds Mari Taylor and Jess Harris who
found him on the road on their way home after a night out. It's
unknown how he reached Shore Rd, which is close to Hobson Bay but across
a major arterial road and raised rail line from open water.
In honor of World Penguin Day, tech firm Cambridge
Consultants announces a plan to use Raspberry-Pi-equipped cameras to
help labs keep an eye on penguins in real time.
The problem with putting wildlife-observing cameras in Antarctica --
aside from going there in the first place -- is that you have to go back
to the frigid, ice covered southern tip of our planet to retrieve the
memory cards on which the photos are captured.
Now, technology firm Cambridge Consultants has developed a series of Raspberry-Pi-equipped cameras for the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) that are capable of beaming their images back to research labs using the Iridium satellite network. "Iridium
were chosen because they have the only truly global satellite system
covering every inch of the Earth's surface," Jonathan Pallant, senior
engineer at Cambridge Consultants, told Crave. "Obviously this is vital
for getting information back from remote areas around the globe."
The cameras were deployed in January 2014 and will spend about a
year on our coldest continent, capturing pictures of Adelie penguins in
an effort to find out how things like climate change, fisheries,
disease, and pollution affect their numbers. "We count penguins
from the images, and observe when they arrive to breed," Oxford
University Penguinologist (yes, that's a real job) Tom Hart
told Crave. "Data from a whole load of cameras are put together to
understand when penguins breed each year and how long it takes to raise
chicks. Overall, this helps us to understand the timing of ice, climate
change, and fisheries on penguin survival and reproduction."
The custom-made cameras, which are called Instant Wild, having no
moving parts, so they can work in temperatures down to -45 degrees
Fahrenheit. They use external lead acid batteries that are regularly
topped up with solar panels. The life of the batteries is weather
dependent, but the researchers are hoping to get a year out of them. "The cameras are triggered using a passive infra-red sensor,"
Pallant told Crave. "The trigger input goes to a very low-power
microprocessor, which then wakes up and controls one of two shutterless
CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) imaging modules. One CMOS
module has an IR filter for taking daytime pictures and the other has
no IR filter to give it a night-vision ability. We also developed a
powerful yet invisible infra-red flash to boost its night-vision
The researchers claim that this is the first time
that satellites have been used to instantly transmit images and data
from Antarctica. "The idea of using Instant Wild on penguins
is the ability to get data back in real time and from very remote
areas," says Hart. "We already monitor a lot of penguin colonies by
direct observation and cameras. The difference that a satellite camera
makes is the ability to monitor some really remote places. There are
places in Antarctica we want to monitor that we can only get to every
five years or so. These cameras are a game-changer because we are now
able to see what is going on without being there."
News of the cameras' deployment was announced on Friday, April 25 in honor of World Penguin Day.
A young explorer of the Antarctic
quickly went from landscape photographer to wildlife warrior during a
recent trip to the South Pole.
Wheeldon - a 19-year-old from Oxford who is part of 2041, the Antarctic
Youth Ambassador Program - was taking a photo of a glacier in Neko
Harbor when suddenly a penguin in the distance spotted him.
part of the Antarctic Treaty, which protects the continent as a land
for scientific preserve, any vistors are not permitted to go within 25
meters from seals and five meters from penguins.
But if they approach you, everything is fine, as Wheeldon discovered.
Incoming: Not used to seeing humans hanging
around its home in Neko Harbor, Antarctica, this playful penguin comes
to inspect what's going on
Getting closer: Oliver Wheeldon, a young Antarctic explorer, could not believe his luck when this penguin kept approaching
Who are you? The penguin gets a good look at the 'thing' that has come into his neighborhood
And then he decides to get even closer ...
The Gentoo penguin has many predators in the
water - such as sea lions, leopard seals and orcas - but doesn't seem
to be fearful of humans
It is common for the curious animals of the area to interact.
With only scientists living in Antarctica and no native population, they are not aware of humans and become inquisitive.
who is also a painter and takes photos for inspiration, said he had
been lying still in the snow for some time when his little friend
decided to come and say hello.
'Once they're there that's it, they can touch you but you can't touch them,' Wheeldon told The Mail Online.b'So if it's going to poo on you, its going to poo on you!' Fortunately, he made it out alright.
Just how the bird made it to land is a mystery. Photo / Jason Dorday
A disoriented little blue penguin which was taken to safety after
being found wandering along the road in suburban Auckland is recovering
well at a bird rescue centre.
The penguin was rescued by two
21-year-old two Auckland women, Mari Taylor and Jess Harris, who were on
their way home at 4am on Sunday after a night on the town.
found it on Shore Rd, Remuera, a few hundred metres from Hobson Bay - a
tidal estuary blocked off from the Hauraki Gulf by a major arterial road
and a raised rail line across the bay. How the penguin made it to land
remains a mystery. "It would have been hit by a car if we didn't pick it up. I couldn't believe it,'' Ms Taylor said.
penguin was taken to the NZ Bird Rescue centre in Green Bay yesterday.
The centre's founder, Lyn MacDonald, said the bird was "terribly
skinny'' but otherwise unhurt.
About 30 penguins were dropped at the centre annually, but it was the first from Remuera.
Ms MacDonald said today that the penguin had been doing well under her care.
SPCA advice the penguin's rescuers had fed the bird a bowl of mushed up
sardines, however "unfortunately sardines don't cut the mustard,'' Ms
MacDonald said. Penguins weren't prone to eating food they hadn't caught
so, it was being fed a critical care diet through a tube.
the penguin's strength is up he would be placed in an enclosure with a
female penguin recovering from sun bleaching, Ms MacDonald said.
However, she doubted any romance would blossom. "They're both from different coasts so they won't be together forever.''
penguin had, or likely would, be named, Ms MacDonald said. "We deal
with 5000 birds a year, can you imagine naming them all.''
A vet would check the male penguin tomorrow, she said.
These flightless wonders are one of our favorite
varieties of birds here at Cheezburger! That's why it's important to us
to celebrate them and share with you how lovable (and hilarious!) these
sleek-feathered fowl are!
Thank you for the "waddle-ful"
happiness you bring to us all! May your fish stay plentiful and your
seas stay clear as crystal! Give'em a hand, people! Or should I
A PENGUIN baby boom has delighted zookeepers this spring, as a record-breaking ten penguin chicks hatched in the last few weeks.
ZSL London Zoo was pleased to welcome the youngsters to the Penguin
Beach exhibit, in what has been a successful start to this year's
The Humboldt penguin chicks arrived just in time to celebrate World
Penguin Day today (Friday), an occasion for promoting the health and
conservation of the birds.
Keeper Zuzanna Matyasova, who gave the chicks health checks this
week, said: “It really is proving a fantastic year for our penguins at
ZSL London Zoo, and I’m delighted with how well all ten of our chicks
are doing. Nothing beats watching the youngsters as they tuck into their
dinner or waddle about their exhibit – I feel like a proud mum.”
Visitors can see the penguin chicks in their nursery at Penguin Beach.
On World Penguin Day,
which takes places on Friday, scientists are hoping that
satellite-enabled cameras can help keep track of penguins as the birds
waddle through the coldest reaches of Antarctica.
Tom Hart, a penguinologist (yes, that is his real title) from the
University of Oxford, had to brave the frigid weather to collect penguin
pictures from unconnected cameras as he sought to monitor the birds’
migration patterns and get a better idea of how they are affected by
climate change, overfishing, disease and pollution.
The average temperature in Antarctica in winter, one of the continent's two seasons, is minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
told NBC News that he enjoys working in the field. But solar-powered
cameras that send out photos via satellite could help him collect more
data, more efficiently. “There
are regions we can get to regularly in Antarctica, but this is about
pushing the boundaries to those very remote areas that you can’t access
every year,” he said.
instead of manually collecting files, he can access them online through
the satellite network built by Iridium, a global telecommunications
The current set-up on
Antarctica’s Yalour Islands involves three cameras that transmit photos
via a short-range wireless link to a central hub, which then sends the
photos — along with location data, battery life information and a
temperature reading — to a central server. The cameras can be triggered
with a timer or motion detector, and take two photos seconds apart to
give researchers a sense of motion.
the technology could be sold or leased to researchers in other
hard-to-reach places, or even to security personnel who want to monitor
national parks for poachers. “Imagine
telling researchers that they don’t have to take a 12-hour flight, then
spend eight hours on a boat, and then take a dingy ride to a small
island to collect a memory card that might or might not be empty,”
Jonathan Pallant, a senior engineer at Cambridge Consultants, who
designed the camera, told NBC News. “If
instead you tell these people you can get these pictures sent straight
to your phone within minutes of them being taken, that is something they
are very interested in," he said.
of the groups interested in using the technology to track rare wildlife
and spot poachers is the Kenya Wildlife Service. While no price has
been set for the cameras, the goal is to make them relatively
inexpensive. For researchers everywhere, it could prove to be a useful
complement to other cameras on the market, like the hardy GoPro, which
provides video from the animal's perspective but no satellite
satellite-enabled cameras can survive a year on the Yalour Islands, home
to thousands of Adelie penguins, the team hopes to test them for longer
periods of time in even harsher parts of Antarctica. Eventually, even
couch potatoes might be able to browse photos of wild animals beamed in
from the Earth's most remote areas on their laptops. "Obviously,
this is something that has to roll out gradually," Marion Campbell,
program director at Cambridge Consultants, told NBC News.
the long run, however, the plan is to make this technology widely
available, she said. "We want to make this a product that can be
installed in much greater numbers all around the world."
Campaigners dressed as penguins marked World Penguin Day outside
Norway's parliament. They called on Norway and other nations active in
the Antarctic to do more to save the world penguin population from a
Penguins have captured people's imagination for years with their cute,
human-like features and impressive dedication to each other and to their
young. The birds have been popularized through documentaries, animated
children's films and books. Yet human impact threatens the flightless
birds' very existence, campaigners say. "In many ways they're an iconic species, and every cute animal brings
out some emotion in people," said Karoline Andaur, who heads WWF
Norway's marine program. The problem is that it's not easy to identify the threats to penguins.
You'd think that they're naturally protected just by being so far away
from human beings. But they're under invisible threats like climate
change, ocean acidification, overfishing. These [Antarctic] waters are home not only to penguins but also to the
blue whale, which is earth's largest living creature, as well as to
humpback whales, penguins, seals, and krill," Andaur adds.
Marine protection areas
WWF's Karoline Andaur thinks climate change is posing a serious threat to penguins
Andaur was part of a group of campaigners marking World Penguin
Day in front of the Norwegian parliament on Friday. They were
representing the Antarctic Ocean Alliance, a coalition of more than 30
environmental organizations that is pushing for the creation of marine
protection areas in large parts of the oceans surrounding the Antarctic. "Although Antarctica is protected as a continent, the Antarctic ocean is
not really protected," Truls Gulowsen, head of Greenpeace Norway, told
DW. "Penguins are under a real threat from climate change, which is changing
the areas where they're living, but they're also under threat from
krill fishing and other fishing that takes their food," he says.
Last October, Russia, Ukraine and China blocked proposed marine
protection areas which would have safeguarded 1.6 million square
kilometers of Antarctic seas. Campaigners say these countries want to
protect their fisheries in the region. Another CCAMLR meeting is
scheduled for October 2014.
Campaigners from the Arctic Ocean Alliance protest in front of Norway's parliament dressed as emperor penguins
"We know so little about the regional and local effects of fishing in
the vulnerable Antarctic zone, which is a strong reason to be as careful
as possible and to designate some large-scale marine reserves where
penguins, fish and krill can thrive without any industrial
interference," Truls Gulowsen explained.
Tracking an endangered icon
Penguins spend three quarters of their lives at sea, swimming huge
distances over several months to feed on krill. Perhaps the most iconic
of them all, the emperor penguin, is edging closer to becoming an
Scientist Klemens Pütz uses radio transmitters to map out penguin hunting grounds
"11 of the 18 species of
are already endangered," explained Klemens Pütz, the scientific
director at the Falklands-based Antarctic Research Trust. Part of his
work involves tracking penguins with radio transmitters to map their
hunting grounds. Penguins are indicator species for the environment - they're at the
very end of the food web. If the penguins are doing well, it's an
indication that the food web is fine. If the penguins are not doing
well, something is going wrong," Pütz told DW.
The emperor penguin colony, which featured in the Oscar-winning film
March of the Penguins, has declined by 50 percent since the 1970s.
Scientists have long been studying the behavior of penguin populations
to gain an understanding of the wider Antarctic ecosystem's health. Changes in penguin populations in the Antarctic may indicate greater
problems in the marine environments that support them, giving scientists
a heads-up about the impact of global warming, over-fishing and other
human activities. The Antarctic supports more than 10,000 unique species
besides penguins, including the blue whale.
It is also estimated that the nutrient-rich waters surrounding the
Antarctic sustain 75 percent of the world's marine life, because the
water is transported by an enormous current into the northern
On World Penguin Day, conservation organizations are working
to raise awareness of the threats facing the world's 18 species of
penguin. We're doing our part at Vox by helping you understand the
cutest activism controversy ever, which has consumed — one might even
say snuggled — the Internet a few times in recent years: whether or not
it is a good idea to knit a sweater for a penguin.
1. Wait, what? Why do penguins need sweaters? I thought they were threatened by the earth getting too hot!
Penguins face a lot of threats. Global warming is definitely one — according to this valuable-but-depressing data visualization
from the Pew Charitable Trusts, 12 of the 18 species of penguins are
threatened by climate change. But some penguin species are also
threatened by pollution, particularly oil spills. When penguins come
into contact with oil in the wake of a spill, conservationists put them
in sweaters so they don't try to eat the oil off their feathers before
they can be washed off. After they're washed, the sweaters help keep the
penguins warm, and waterproof, until their feathers and natural oils
2. What type of penguins are we talking about here?
The most famous "sweaters for penguins" campaigns have been for a
species of penguin called "little penguins" (seriously). They live in
Australia and New Zealand. Here's what they look like when they're not
covered in oil:
An adult little penguin is returned to the wild after a rehab assignment. Brendon Thorne/Getty
Here's what they look like when they are:
A penguin rescued after a 2011 oil spill in New Zealand. SUNLIVE New Zealand/Getty
3. Real talk: does putting penguins in sweaters actually work?
The Penguin Foundation, which exists solely to protect Australia's little penguin population, certainly thinks it does. They work with the Tasmanian Conservation Truston
the "Knits for Nature" program, which has actually existed for over a
decade. The first public sweaters-for-penguins campaign, after an oil
spill in Tasmania in 2002, produced 15,000 sweaters. Some were used
immediately, and the rest were put in emergency kits around Tasmania.
Some bird researchers think it is. The organization International Bird Rescue
points out that penguins overheat easily, so putting an oil-smothered
penguin in a layer of thick wool might not be the best idea.
Additionally, traumatized wild penguins might not like the added stress
of a human being putting something over their heads and onto their
bodies. And if the sweater prevents some of the oil from evaporating off
the penguin, it could exacerbate the damage of the spill.
5. Do conservationists still use penguin sweaters?
Yes, but they have plenty already.
Between the original stockpile of sweaters, a 2011 campaign (run by a
knitting site) that went viral, and the sweaters charities get from
random people who hear about penguins needing sweaters, the Knits for
Nature campaign has plenty in reserve.
You're welcome to knit a sweater for a penguin if you really want — the pattern is available here.
But if it's made of the wrong kind of wool, is the wrong size, or is
just one sweater too many, the Penguin Foundation will put it on a
stuffed penguin to sell as a way to raise awareness about little penguin
conservation. That's what happens to most of the sweaters they receive.
Generally, charities tend to prefer that you donate money rather than
goods. The original penguin campaign was an exception, because of the
urgent need (and because they couldn't order them from a factory). But
this is a good lesson that the donation you want to make might not be
the donation the charity needs.
6. How threatened are little penguins, anyway?
There aren't many of them in the wild — just 300,000 breeding pairs. But the International Union for Conservation of Nature
(IUCN), which runs the official Red List of Threatened Species, has the
threat level for little penguins set to its lowest level: Least
Concern. This makes them much less threatened than a lot of other
penguin species: 15 of 18 species of penguins are at a higher threat
level, and 5 of them are officially "endangered," according to the IUCN.
7. What kind of penguins should I be worried about?
The IUCN lists the African, erect-crested, Galapagos, Northern
clodhopper, and yellow-eyed penguins as "endangered." They range in
population size from 265,000 Northern rockhopper breeding pairs to only
1,700 breeding pairs of yellow-eyed penguins.
8. Do those penguins need sweaters?
No. Pollution isn't the biggest threat facing these species, according to Pew.
Most of them are immediately threatened by humans encroaching on and
degrading their habitats, and need stronger protections for their
foraging and breeding grounds.
9. What can I do instead to help the penguins?
You can start on Pew's World Penguin Day
site, which has a few resources and recommendations, along with
profiles of each penguin species. If you're interested in doing more for
one of the endangered penguin species, consider donating to the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds,
which has partnered with American aquaria on penguin conservation. If
you'd like to donate closer to home, check out this list of top zoos from Charity Navigator, which rates charities based on how effectively they're managed.
The Penguin Camera is located on Torgersen Island (64°46’S, 64°04’W), off the coast of Anvers Island and less than a mile from Palmer Station. Torgersen Island is home to a colony of Adélie penguins numbering approximately 2,500. This camera is seasonal and operates primarily from October to February, the Adélie breeding season. The camera is solar-powered and may sometimes experience brief outages due to inclement weather. School classrooms and other educational demonstrations will often take control of the camera, moving it to gain better views of the colony.
A lifelong student and confirmed polymath, I am currently writing my 2nd book this spring. I have an AS in Biology, a BA and an MA in English, plus I began a degree in Geology while living in CA. I am a retired herpetologist, but my blogs and current interests strive to promote animal conservation, particularly Penguins,Wolves, and Big Cats. I live with the loves of my life, Sissy, a Chihuahua, and Joey, Alero, Jillian, Loki, Jadin, Perse, Socks and Siggy - my ThunderCats - who help me cope with narcolepsy.