Hundreds of penguins washed up on New Zealand beaches

Hundreds of penguins washed up on New Zealand beaches

Little penguins at Melbourne Zoo, Australia. | Fir0002 / Flagstaffotos via Wikimedia Commons

The reason is temperature changes.

In recent days, climate change has not only had dire consequences in Europe. On the other side of the globe, in New Zealand, hundreds of tiny blue penguins, also called “couras” in the country, flock to the beaches.

Since the beginning of June, environmental specialist von Turner has been traveling 90 miles onshore, a beach in the north of the archipelago, to count the carcasses of young birds. According to him, approximately 200 birds sweep the dunes every day.

For its part, the New Zealand Ornithological Society found that most penguins died at sea and never even made it to shore. Graeme Taylor, a member of the nation’s Department of Environmental Conservation, explains that this type of phenomenon is not new, but it is becoming more frequent.

Not enough food

“In the past, you could have had many good years and then a bad year where many birds would die, but then the good years would return,” the scientist told Radio New Zealand. Only, if the Libra continues to tilt toward the bad years, they will no longer be able to recover.

The cause of these waves of deaths is the temperature of the water. When it gets too warm, the fish that penguins usually eat either move into cooler water or sink deeper, where the penguins can no longer catch them.

In the event of a lack of food, penguins are unable to produce the layer of fat that normally protects them from the cold of the ocean. So the birds find themselves in a state of hypothermia and end up dying.

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