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The Antarctic Peninsular is heating up fast. If the temperature rises too high, penguins could find the sea ice they depend on melting beneath their feet.

Discover why climate change is such a threat to Emperor and Adelie penguins. And why urgent action is needed.

1 Mass migration ?

The Antarctic Peninsula is home to 6 percent of the world’s majestic Emperor penguins and 21 percent of all Adelies. But for how much longer? The region is warming much faster than almost anywhere else on earth. And if its ice sheets disappear, so will many of its penguins.

Both the Emperor and Adelie penguins rely on sea ice for places to breed and access to food. Like polar bears in the Arctic, it is critical to their survival. And while some penguins may be able to adapt to the thawing of their icy world, most will not.

A WWF study in 2008 estimated that 50% of the Emperor penguins and 75% of the Adelies would probably decline or disappear if the average global temperature rose by more than 2 degrees Celsius. And that can only be averted if urgent action is taken by people, businesses and governments around the globe.

  • Night photo infrared light
  • Day night sensor
  • Menu Display
  • Motion sensor
Camera trap
  • To find polar bears, the researchers survey from the air. From the helicopter, an anesthetic dart immobilizes the bear for up to an hour so the researchers can safely assess it.

    Wrapped up warm: But what will happen to future Emperor penguin chicks if temperatures rise too high ?

  • The Norwegian Polar Institute is pioneering work in the use of geo-location ear tags that store a surprising amount of data on a chip set the size of a small coin- including temperature and light. That information may help them identify when bears go into dens.

    Posing for the paparazzi: An Emperor penguin chick in the summer sun on Snow Hill Island, Antarctica

  • Camera traps are high-tech devices, some of which offer the ability to send live pictures through MMS or email.

    Emperor penguins have evolved so they can swim superbly...and slide across the ice on their stomachs

  • Polar bear research isn’t all high-tech. Here, the researchers team up to weigh a polar bear the old-fashioned way – with scales and a sling. A female may weigh 150–250 kg, while a male could weigh up to 700 kg.

    Time to leave the nest: By mid-summer, Emperor penguin chicks are ready to begin fending for themselves

  • In order to set camera traps, WWF biologists walk through the field looking for signs of tigers.

    Ice sculptures: Two Adelie penguins on a spectacular iceberg in Antarctica

Listen to an Adelie male claiming his territory

adelie male

Listen to this Adelie chick begging for food

adelie nesting site

Listen to Adelie penguins clamouring for space

penguin water