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HomeAnimals & HumansEmperor penguins join threatened species list, thanks to climate change

Emperor penguins join threatened species list, thanks to climate change



Climate change has pushed emperor penguins, the largest species of penguin on Earth, onto the threatened species list, which means the iconic Antarctic birds are likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future. 

A study published last year highlighted the imminent threats to the survival of emperor penguins (Aptenodytes forsteri). It found that up to 70% of emperor penguin colonies in Antarctica could become extinct by 2050 if current rates of sea ice loss continue. In the worst-case scenarios, 98% of colonies could disappear by 2100, leaving the species unable to rebound. These harrowing findings prompted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to propose protecting emperor penguins under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

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