When severe weather destroyed the sea ice on which thousands of emperor penguins were being cared for in 2016, they drowned in a devastating tragedy that shook their world.
After this devastating catastrophe, the Halley Bay colony did not manage to produce any other chicks. There was not even a sign that the Penguins were trying to produce more chicks on this location.
That has been their doom because the colony has now disappeared.
Since 2016, there has not been a single emperor penguin colony in Halley Bay, where between 15,000 and 24,000 breeding pairs previously visited every year.
Scientists believe this has come about because our planet is on its death bed. The ice is declining, and this is the reason experts believe that no emperor penguin chicks have survived the deadly event.
The colony was responsible for about five to nine percent of the total emperor penguin population. The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) watched the shocking event as it unfolded with the help of satellites.
After the devastation took place in 2016, the sea-ice that formed was not as strong, and it has, therefore, become unreliable. In fact, the storms that come in October and November will blow it away earlier than is usually the case.
Consequently, things have changed in a big way, and this ice can no longer offer a reliable breeding ground for the penguins.
So, it should probably come as good news that the penguins can recognize this fact. But there is a reason to be concerned because such a massive disruption to these birds’ natural breeding patterns in such a short span of time is anything but normal.
Scientists claim that there is nothing completely unusual about the movement of colonies or breeding failures. What should be worrying is that the planet is changing in such a huge way that such species are denied a chance to breed as they normally would.
This is a bad sign of the things to follow, and we should take it seriously.
Dr. Phil Trathan thinks we have every reason to be concerned about this incidence. The cold-adapted species have not witnessed such a drastic disruption to their breeding patterns in 6 decades.
At the moment, it would appear that a lot of emperor penguins have chosen not to breed in the years 2017 and 2018. The other possibility is that they have found new breeding sites other than the Weddell Sea.
In fact, there has been a notable rise in the number of emperor penguin colonies near the Dawson-Lambton Glacier, which is 50km from the Halley Bay.