Ten Emperor Penguin Facts For World Penguin Day.
Emperor penguins are the largest specie of penguins called aptenodytes forsteri. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources’ Red List, emperor penguins are considered near threatened. They currently have a large range and they live on average 15-20 years in the wild. However, they face several threats due to human activity. Rising temperatures due to global warming will also reduce emperor penguin breeding grounds, and overfishing will limit their source of food. It is projected that their population will decline rapidly over the next three generations as a result of climate change. Further, studies have shown the appearance of Infectious Bursal Disease Virus (IBDV) antibodies in emperor penguin chicks. IBDV is a highly contagious poultry disease that was most likely brought to Antarctica via humans exposed to infected birds. More studies are currently being conducted to measure the effect of the disease on emperor penguin populations. The species is the subject of on-going international research, but there are currently no special conservation activities. Human disturbance is strictly regulated in some areas that has been designated as Antarctic Specially Protected Areas.
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