Here's The Poop On Secret Penguin Society, Population 1.5 Million

Previously unknown 'supercolony' of Adélie penguins discovered in Antarctica

"We were surprised to find so many penguins on these islands, especially because some of these islands were not known to have penguins".

Surprisingly, the newly discovered colony is formed of 1.5 million Adelie penguins, the very same species of penguins that, only 160 kilometers west of the Danger Islands, are dying due to ice melting. "In the Antarctic, distances are so vast, something major could be just around the corner and you wouldn't know".

The incredible discovery was captured using a video drone, which snapped the countless birds on their remote and unsafe island home from the air.

Curious, professor Lynch led a team to check out the potential penguin colony first hand, using drones to get an aerial view of the location. Of particular interest is the fact that these penguins appear to be thriving, whereas penguin populations in many other places are declining. The worldwide Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources says it will consider creating the sanctuary when it meets in Australia in October.

Singh developed the drone's imaging and navigation system and plans to use the images from the drone, to look for penguin nests, using a neural network software.

The journal Nature reports that a "multi-modal survey" including ground counts and computer automated counts of drone imagery, showed huge populations of Adélie penguins in the Danger Islands off of the norther tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Previously unknown 'supercolony' of Adélie penguins discovered in Antarctica
A Hidden 1.5 Million Penguins 'Supercolony' Has Been Discovered From Space

This was an incredible experience, finding and counting so many penguins. This suggests a large number of penguins in the area, so they arranged an expedition to the island with the objective of counting the birds. Even in the southern summer the surrounding ocean is filled with near inaccessible thick sea ice.

The penguins remained well-hidden until Michael Polito, an assistant professor in the department of oceanography and coastal sciences at Louisiana State University went on a trip on a cruise ship and stopped by the Danger Islands, which definitely live up to their name. One of the most common species of penguin on the Antarctic Peninsula, they play a vital role in the Antarctic food chain, states the WWF, feeding on tiny creatures like small fish and krill, and providing a source of food for leopard seals, killer whales and other predators.

Polito and his team visited the islands, and had the luck of visiting it at a time when the sea ice levels were low and the penguins were nesting there and weren't traveling.

"We want to understand why".

"The sheer size of what we were looking at took our breath away", one of the researchers with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Dr.

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