U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to list penguins as a threatened species
The emperor penguin population of Antarctica is being granted endangered species protections as the population is in significant danger due to diminishing sea ice levels, U.S. wildlife authorities announced Tuesday.
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), it is listing penguins as a threatened species and has finalized protections for the flightless seabird.
“This listing reflects the growing extinction crisis and highlights the importance of the ESA and efforts to conserve species before population declines become irreversible,” Service Director Martha Williams said in a statement. “Climate change is having a profound impact on species around the world and addressing it is a priority for the Administration. The listing of the emperor penguin serves as an alarm bell but also a call to action.”
Emperor penguins are presently 650,000 in number in Antarctica. According to the estimates, the numbers could shrink by 26% to 47% by 2050. Penguins have been listed as “near threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Due to climate change, as the sea ice is disappearing, the penguins are losing needed space to breed and raise chicks, and to avoid predators. Experts said that the food source is also on the decline “because of melting ice, ocean acidification, and industrial fishing.”