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Antarctica’s emperor penguins will receive endangered species protections : NPR



The emperor penguin Antarctica’s population is critically endangered due to dwindling sea levels and is being enacted to protect endangered species, US wildlife authorities announced Tuesday. .

The US Fish and Wildlife Service says it has The ultimate protections for flightless seabirds are under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which lists penguins as threatened.

“This list reflects the growing extinction crisis and highlights the importance of the ESA and efforts to conserve species before population decline becomes irreversible,” said Service Manager Martha. Williams said in a statement. “Climate change is having a profound impact on species around the world and addressing this issue is a priority for the Administration. The listing of emperor penguins serves as a warning bell but also a warning bell. call to action.”

There are about 650,000 emperor penguins in Antarctica. According to estimates by wildlife officials, that number could drop from 26% to 47% by 2050. A study last year predicted that, on current trends, almost all Emperor penguin colonies will become “nearly extinct” by 2100.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the penguins as “near threatened” on Red List of Threatened Species.

As sea ice disappears because of climate change, penguins lose the space they need to breed, nurture their chicks, and avoid predators. Their key food source, krill, is also in decline due to melting ice, ocean acidification and industrial fishing, according to the Center for Biological Diversity.

The foundation first petitioned the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to name the emperor penguin endangered species in 2011. The center’s director of climate science, Shaye Wolf, speak decision “is a warning that emperor penguins need urgent climate action if they are to survive. Penguins’ survival depends on whether our government takes drastic action. power now to cut down on climate-warming fossil fuels and prevent irreversible damage to life on Earth.”

Although emperor penguins are not found naturally in the US, protecting the endangered species will help increase funding for conservation efforts. According to the Center for Biodiversity, U.S. agencies will also be required to assess how fisheries and greenhouse gas emissions projects are impacting populations.

The rule will go into effect next month.

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