400 dead Magellanic penguins “with teeth marks” found on the South Shetland Islands to the North of the Antarctic
400 dead and decaying penguins “with teeth marks” were discovered during a scientific expedition to a remote island archipelago of the South Shetland Islands, which lie to the North of Antarctica. The spectacle of mass death of seabirds that worldwide there are only 1.8 million pairs, is open to ornithologists on the island of Livingston. It is assumed that destroyed about 12% of the local penguin colony, listed in the Red book, and that dealt with them a pack of wild dogs.
British news online The Evening Standard said that the penguins died two or three weeks ago. Scientists then allegedly saw four dogs crossing the 60-metre gorge between the island the penguin and its neighbouring island.
Now the researchers plan to investigate whether the Livingston island again in the near future to be on the migration routes of wild dogs.
“So far, we have seen in the worst case, the death of 10 penguins, here almost 400,” said the biologist from the National University of southern Patagonia Ana Millones. However, as the mass death of Magellanic penguins have occurred in the past. For example, in 2009, about thousands of dead specimens of Magellanic penguins and Humboldt penguins was discovered on the beach in the Bay of Keule in southern Chile. But then failed to identify the cause of death of birds.
In the International Red book Magellanic penguins are listed with a security status of “near threatened”. In 2010, the world wildlife Fund (WWF) ranked their animals, the existence of which should be paid special attention.
Magellanic penguins live mainly in South America – the Patagonian coast (Chile and Argentina), on the Islands of Tierra del Fuego, Juan Fernandez and Falkland Islands, and some Islands South of Coquimbo (Chile) and Rio de Janeiro. Their species grow up to 70-80 cm and live for about 15 years. They make their nests in burrows in soft ground.
Indians of South America have long hunted these penguins, however, the number of species remained stable. Much more of the penguins was destroyed during expeditions to the mainland Europeans in the XVIII-XIX centuries: then only one Magdalena island destroyed to 14 thousand birds a year. Today on the Islands of Magdalena and Marta created the national Park penguins, however, the population of this species remains small: the local population continues to collect their eggs, and numerous tourists disturb birds and destroy their burrows.