About this told at the National Antarctic Science Center.
“The spread of the thermophilic subantarctic penguin is one of the indicators of climate change in the Antarctic, so Ukrainian scientists are observing these birds not only on Galindez Island, where “Vernadskyi” is located, but also in the entire area of the Argentine Islands-Kyiv Peninsula,” the message reads.
The scientific center said that in the first half of October, biologists went to the neighboring islands several times to count penguins and found out that the southernmost colony is located 10 km from “Vernadsky”, and the northernmost – 30 km.
Scientists used drones for the survey. They shared a video where you can see the penguins.
As noted by polar explorers, penguin colonies are usually mixed: representatives of Pygoscelis species (subantarctic and Antarctic) and Adélie penguins nest together in one place. With them in the neighborhood you can also see blue-eyed Antarctic cormorants. Out of nine penguin colonies examined, cormorants were spotted in six.
“Most likely, this is due to the fact that there are not many suitable nesting sites and they are liked by many species of birds at once. For example, the one located on the island of Bute can be considered the most “mixed” colony within our archipelago. All three species of Pygoscelis nest there and blue-eyed cormorants,” said biologist of the 28th UAE Vadym Tkachenko.
The most in all colonies of subantarctic penguins, they were counted at least 30 thousand. The polar scientists said that this type of penguin is also at the “Akademik Vernadskyi” station – there are about four thousand of them there.
According to scientists, penguins choose a wide variety of sites for nesting, but they must have a convenient descent into the water, rocks clear of snow and a sufficient amount of building material, mainly pebbles.
“Therefore, we meet them on flat beaches, and on small rocks in the sea, and even on steep mountain slopes. Subantarctic penguins can build nests quite high. We often see them on mountain slopes at an altitude of 130-150 meters above sea level, where they have already taken places for future nests,” the biologist explained.
- Earlier, penguins occupied the weather field of Ukrainian meteorologists near the Akademik Vernadskyi station. Animals return en masse for the mating season – currently there are almost 200 of them.