A video of an Antarctic penguin colony's first contact with humans has been released by researchers from the International Polar Foundation (IPF).
Earlier this month, Digital Journal reported that an IPF team lead by Alain Hubert used data collected by the British Antarctic Survey to locate a colony of an estimated 9000 emperor penguins.
The video shows a massive number of penguins that stretch as far as the eye can see. Hubert says approximately 75 percent of the colony consisted of penguin chicks, telling CNN:
"Despite global warming, this colony…is growing."
For decades emperor penguins were abundant in the wild and conversationalists labelled them as of "least concern" as far as conservation efforts. In 2009, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) stated that other than climate change, emperor penguins faced "few significant threats". However, in June of 2012, National Center for Atmospheric Research scientist, Marika Holland, stated:
“The projected decreases in sea ice may fundamentally alter the Antarctic environment in ways that threaten this population of penguins."
Holland also said it is estimated that the number of breeding pairs of emperor penguins could decline by as much at 80 percent by 2100. For that reason, the IUCN has now listed the penguins as "near threatened". This status change is due to the projected population decline over the next three generations from projected climate change.
Hubert said the penguins within the colony were absolutely amazingly trusting and were "strangely human".