Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Newly discovered emperor penguin colony receives first human visitors

Date:
January 9, 2013
Source:
International Polar Foundation
Summary:
Three team members from Belgium's Princess Elisabeth Antarctica polar research station are the first humans to have ever visited and photographed a newly-discovered 9,000-strong colony of emperor penguins on Antarctica's Princess Ragnhild Coast.

Some of the elegant occupants of the newly-discovered colony.
Credit: © International Polar Foundation

Three team members from Belgium's Princess Elisabeth Antarctica polar research station are the first humans to have ever visited and photographed a newly-discovered 9,000-strong colony of emperor penguins on Antarctica's Princess Ragnhild Coast.

Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey and the US National Environment Research Council first discovered the colony of 1m-tall emperor penguins using satellite imagery, and published the location in a 2009 paper "Penguins from space: faecal stains reveal the location of emperor penguin colonies." However, the colony's existence was unconfirmed until expedition leader Alain Hubert and station, chief mechanic Kristof Soete from Belgium and Swiss mountain guide Raphael Richard travelled to the colony in early December 2012.

"Since we started operating along Princess Ragnhild Coast we have encountered so many emperors penguins that I was convinced that a colony must be installed somewhere in the east," said Hubert.

"I knew from last year's satellite study that there could potentially be an emperor colony east of Derwael ice rise. Because we were operating not far from this the satellite location, I decided to force the way and try to access to this remote and unknown place. The surprise was even more than all I could have expected or dreamed about: I realised while counting the penguins that this was a very populated colony. "

"It was almost midnight when we succeeded in finding a way down to the ice through crevasses and approached the first of five groups of more than a thousand individuals, three quarters of which were chicks. This was unforgettable moment!"

Hubert and Soete were part of a team supporting scientific research on the Derwael Ice Rise, some 50km from the colony, and 250km from Princess Elisabeth Antarctica. The projects carried out at the site included IceCon, which aims to gain a better understanding of the rate of the loss of ice -- now and in the past -- from the Antarctic ice sheet in the Dronning Maud Land area. The Be:Wise project aims to improve understanding of ice-shelf flow dynamics by focusing on the buttressing role of ice rises and pinning points -- small offshore mountains which support Antarctic ice shelves from underneath.

Princess Elisabeth Antarctica is the world's first zero emission polar research station, and is operated by the International Polar Foundation, in partnership with the Belgian Polar Secretariat. Princess Elisabeth Antarctica's design and construction seamlessly integrates passive building technologies, renewable wind and solar energy, water treatment facilities, continuously monitored power demand and a smart grid for maximising energy efficiency. Located in East Antarctica's Sψr Rondane Mountains, Princess Elisabeth Antarctica welcomes scientists from around the world to conduct research in this little-studied and pristine environment.

Inside the Station -- an interactive exhibition, taking visitors on a journey inside Princess Elisabeth Antarctica is now open to the public at Tour & Taxis, Brussels: http://www.insidethestation.be


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by International Polar Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Peter T. Fretwell, Philip N. Trathan. Penguins from space: faecal stains reveal the location of emperor penguin colonies. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 2009; 18 (5): 543 DOI: 10.1111/j.1466-8238.2009.00467.x

Cite This Page:

International Polar Foundation. "Newly discovered emperor penguin colony receives first human visitors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130109081149.htm>.
International Polar Foundation. (2013, January 9). Newly discovered emperor penguin colony receives first human visitors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130109081149.htm
International Polar Foundation. "Newly discovered emperor penguin colony receives first human visitors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130109081149.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

AP (July 21, 2014) — New Orleans is the first U.S. city to participate in a large-scale recycling effort for cigarette butts. The city is rolling out dozens of containers for smokers to use when they discard their butts. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) — A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

AFP (July 19, 2014) — A spectaCular lightning storm struck the UK overnight Friday. Images of lightning strikes over the Shard and Tower Bridge in central London. Duration: 00:23 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

AFP (July 19, 2014) — As if it weren't enough that the Queen is the Sovereign of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms, she is also the owner of all Britain's unmarked swans. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins