Archive for January 13th, 2013

Nature Ramble

We don’t know everything, yet.

One of the most magnificent birds on the planet must be the Emperor Penguin.

Aptenodytes forsteri

This week we look at an amazing discovery.

Newly discovered colony of penguins receives first human visitors

Experts from Belgian research station in Antarctica are first to visit and photograph 9,000-strong emperor penguin colony

A previously unknown colony of about 9,000 emperor penguins has received its first human visitors.

Scientists from the British Antarctic Survey and US colleagues discovered the colony from satellite images.

The newly discovered 9,000-strong emperor penguin colony on Antarctica’s Princess Ragnhild coast. Photograph: International Polar Foundation/PA

The birds’ gave away their location by leaving faecal stains on the ice.

Three experts from Belgium’s Princess Elisabeth Antarctica polar research station have now become the first people to visit and photograph the colony.

They travelled to the site on Antarctica’s Princess Ragnhild coast in early December.

The expedition leader, Alain Hubert, said: “I knew from last year’s satellite study that there could potentially be an emperor colony east of Derwael ice rise.

“Because we were operating not far from this the satellite location, I decided to force the way and try to access this remote and unknown place.

“The surprise was even more than all I could have expected or dreamed about: I realised while counting the penguins that this was a very populated colony.

“It was almost midnight when we succeeded in finding a way down to the ice through crevasses and approached the first of five groups of more than a thousand individuals, three-quarters of which were chicks. This was an unforgettable moment.”

Hubert and Soete had been studying ice loss 30 miles (50km) from the colony at a remote site 150 miles from the Princess Elisabeth research station.


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