Hundreds of dead penguins washed up on the coast of Uruguay- the story of the dead birds continues PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 08 June 2011 12:24


Deputy Head of Public Relations Department of the Navy of Uruguay, confirmed on 7 June 2011 that about 600 Magellanic penguins were found dead on a beach in La Paloma, about 200 km east of the Montevideo, Uruguay. In addition to the penguins, on the beach have been found dead seabirds and turtles.

This story has already attracted the attention of many media, as many remember the unexplained deaths of thoUSAnds of birds in 2010 and 2011 in different parts of the world, and the Penguins are marine birds.

Penguins live practically in many seas of the Southern Hemisphere: near Antarctica, near New Zealand, near Australia, South Africa, as well as along the entire coast of South America, from the Falkland Islands to Peru and the Galapagos Islands near the equator. Penguins prefer low temperatures, so in tropical penguins appear only with cold Humboldt Current, near the west coast of South America and the Benguela Current, which arises from the Cape of Good Hope and the surrounding west coast of South Africa. Most penguin species live between 45 ° and 60 ° of south latitude, but the greatest concentration of species of penguins found in Antarctica and nearby islands.

The main area of the Magellanic penguin located near coast of Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego, the islands of Juan Fernandez and the Falkland Islands. Magellanic penguins have been spotted as far north as Rio de Janeiro and the southern part of Peru. World population of Magellanic penguin population is of about 1.8 million pairs, of which one hundred thoUSAnd nests in the Falklands, 900 000 nests in Argentina, and about 800 thoUSAnd nests in Chile. During the wintering, Magellanic penguins migrate widely, reaching the coast of Brazil to 10-15 ° of south latitude. Magellanic penguins can live to 20 years, but natural predators for magelanovyh penguins are leopard seals, sea lions and whales. From the human threat comes from the fishermen and oil pollution. The number of colonies of Magellanic penguins in the Falkland Islands began to fall heavily, since the start of commercial fishing on fish and krill, but such a reduction of Magellanic penguins is not happening in Argentina and Uruguay, where the colony of Magellanic penguins are protected from commercial fishing.

Therefore, every year large groups of Magellanic penguins migrate northwards towards the coast of Argentina and Uruguay, to find new places to feed and then back again. Over the past few years, on the coast of Uruguay, was found dead penguins, but have never found such a large number of dead penguins. In addition, earlier found dead penguins have always been mired in oil, as is well known, that the oil binds the fat on the feathers of penguins and then the penguins are dying from hypothermia.

Founded on June 7, 2011 hundreds of dead penguins are not smeared with oil, and researchers are lost in the assumptions- that could cause the death of penguins in a vast, previously not observable quantities. After that, when with location of dead penguins near the town of Piriapolis in Uruguay have found bags of pesticides, with inscriptions in Portuguese, it was assumed, that penguins have died from poisoning, but until laboratory tests have not confirmed this.

In addition, some scientists from Argentina had already made the assumption, that the main reason for such a mass death of the penguin- is the physical exhaustion, due to the fact, that fish shoals have changed the usual areas of their habitat, due to redirection of ocean currents due to global warming and penguins do not physically have enough food for sustenance. This version says two things: first- this year, the Magellanic penguins too early to start migrating to the coast of Uruguay, usually migration begins in late June to early July, and secondly- a year ago on the coast of Brazil has already thrown heavily depleted, but living penguins.

Apparently in 2011, the situation with the ocean currents, has further deteriorated and it is quite possible, that the redirection of ocean currents can cause climate changes.

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