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The Penguin Population Is at Risk and it’s Probably Our Fault

It’s World Penguin Day!

We often hear that “Climate Change isn’t real” but these little creatures have a big story to tell about the impact of climate change on the earth’s wildlife. Although all penguins live in the southern hemisphere, only two species actually live in Antarctica. If you’ve ever seen “Happy Feet” you should be able to name at least one of those species, if you haven’t, what have you been doing for 11 years!? Today we want to share their climate change story, so here are three ways climate change has been affecting Antarctic Penguins.

  1. What’s for dinner?

krill

Penguins feed primarily on fish and krill but rising sea temperatures have been affecting the food supply. In some areas the fish population has significantly decreased, setting off a chain reaction. This means that the penguins now have less food to eat, and because of this, many of these penguins starve to death, resulting in a decrease in the penguin population on the South Pole.

  1. Where will they nest?

In Antarctica, the weather is typically cold, dry and harsh. Penguins take advantage of this by laying their eggs and keeping them warm until the chicks hatch and mature enough, having grown waterproof feathers to fight cold weather themselves. With the rising temperatures associated with climate change comes the melting of ice and unprecedented rainfall, creating puddles. A Penguin’s eggs can’t survive in these pools of water and without waterproof feathers, their chicks can become wet and die from hypothermia.

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  1. Where will they live?

Melting polar ice caps has long been a topic of discussion surrounding Global Warming. When the seas and temperatures warm, the ice caps begins to melt and Penguins live on the ice caps. Imagine if our island started to break off and float away piece by piece, how many people would suffer? Many would get caught in the breakaway, some of us would have nowhere to run and ultimately with no island to live on, Jamaica and Jamaicans would cease to exist. The world would be an odd place without Jamaicans, wouldn’t it? Well, we certainly feel the same way about Penguins.

antarctic-ice-shelves-melting

You might be thinking “What does this have to do with me?” but the truth is we all play a part in protecting our Earth. It’s the ONLY place we have to live! If 7.4 billion people decided to try one earth friendly activity for thirty seconds, you do the math. Just imagine how far reaching the effects would be.  We can start right here in our homes, here in Jamaica, together, lobbying, raising awareness about climate change and working to decrease our carbon footprint. Join our movement and follow along with our social media pages to see how you can play a part.

FB: Our Footprint JA

Twitter: @OurFootprintJA

Instagram: @OurFootprintJA

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