Headline of the Week—Cold kills 500 penguins

I couldn't think of a more open source image of a penguin ~ ctm

Credit,  Willis and Moshpit

Hockey stick Icon broken.

Polar bear icon photoshopped.

Penguin icon dying of the cold.

They are left with whale poo.

From news24.com

Pretoria – Nearly 500 African penguins died in 24-hours because of cold and wet weather at Algoa Bay in the Eastern Cape, SA National Parks (SanParks) said on Tuesday.

SanParks spokesperson Megan Taplin said: “The chicks, aged between a few weeks and two months, are covered only with down feathers. They succumbed to the cold and wet weather that has hit Bird Island.”

It was common for a third of a penguin population’s chicks to die in such weather conditions, she said.

However, with only 700 breeding pairs of African penguins on Bird Island, the death of over half the populations’ chicks presents an “added threat” to the dwindling numbers of penguins.

The African penguin was recently reclassified as an endangered species because of its declining population across South Africa.

Read the whole story here.

39 thoughts on “Headline of the Week—Cold kills 500 penguins

  1. …..the death of over half the populations’ chicks presents an “added threat” to the dwindling numbers of penguins.
    i.e., send money

  2. Headlines in tomorrow’s newspapers will read “Global cooling kills penguins”….and pigs may fly!
    Yep – cold weather is probably a major cause of decreasing polar bear numbers in some areas and cold near surface waters almost certainly limit the growth of many coral reefs. I’d hate to think of the catastropic consequences of another ice age! Back to the Dark Ages and beyond for us humans!!

  3. She said park rangers hoped to reach the island by the end of the week.
    And then what?
    But anyway, why go there? Co2 makes climate warm. So they should just get everyone to start their cars and run them a couple hours. Problem solved.
    (do I really need to put “sarc off” here? can’t you tell?)

  4. You know, if this global warming gets any worse we are going to have to buy those arctic creatures some warm coats.

  5. This is really sad. Nature i know, but still quite rough.
    It has been bitterly cold in SA for the last 2 weeks, with the mercury below freezing almost every night, just about all over the country. So sadly no surprises. We’ve had to take care of our birds too, far too cold for them where they normally reside (inside, but in a cold part of the house).

  6. Am I missing something here? I have noticed this sort of thing before in these types of reports. There are apparently 700 breeding pairs of Penguins on Bird Island. Yet, there are 300 breeding pairs on St Croix Island, which is apparently the largest breeding colony of African Penguins? Err, 700 is less than 300? Wow, this global warming stuff is really serious, it turns more into less at the stroke of a pen.
    PS:A little note for amusement. On BBC Radio 2 news this morning they advised that a body had examined ALL the scientific evidence written about AGW & found that the overwhelming majoitry of scientists do believe its all man’s fault. No surprise there then!

  7. Ah Mr Stokes, indeed it’s common for a third of chicks to die in such conditions, that’s why when HALF of them have died in a day, that it makes the news.
    Do try to read all the story dear chap.
    Over here in Blighty, the cold of the last winter has killed off up to 60% of Goldcrests, Britain’s smallest bird, with numbers of Wrens & Treecreepers down too.
    It’s cold that kills, it kills humans too.
    Luckily, Summer appears to have finally arrived, last week was ridiculous, with temperatures dropping below 10C at night and not getting much over that during the day!
    Last weekend, I was watching the Moto GP coverage from Silverstone, near Northhampton, must be about 60 miles from us. Air temps there were 16C, ours were 11C. So much for Hanson’s ideas about temperatures 1500km apart being much the same.

  8. Lank says:
    June 21, 2010 at 11:01 pm
    “Headlines in tomorrow’s newspapers will read “Global cooling kills penguins”….and pigs may fly!”
    No no.
    It’ll say “Climate change kills penguins…”

  9. So, sympathy for the Antarctic penguins but none for the South African penguins. This is nothing short of bigotry, out-and-out penguinism. Can you imagine the uproar if this occured on the Anaarctic peninsula. ‘Climate scientists’ would apply for lucrative grants to go and study why they had died.:o(
    You guys and gals must realise that sooner or later it’s going to be blamed on global warming, oops sorry, climate change (weather). Mmmmmm, what’s this then?:o(

    Weekend Post (SA)
    “During the 1990s, Bird Island had a peak active nest count of about 3700 “before the over-fishing and climate change stuff really kicked in. Now there’s only about 800 left.””

    Controls on over fishing helps these penguins though as opposed to trying to control the co2. :o)

  10. abraxas, since you are in RSA…can you confirm there were some snowflakes in Bloemfontein last Tuesday!? In 2007 sleet was falling in Bloemfontein at lunchtime …
    Temp +3C…[Aug 2] That’s impressive at 29S 1390 m ASL…If any WC match will be “blessed”
    by snow…it’s probably only the second time since Montevideo had wet snow/sleet in
    1930, the very first WC…[first time since 1925 there…]

  11. When one reads the background to this, the headline should have been along the lines of ‘Penguin Chicks die due to combination of cold and wet weather plus parent birds exhausted by long haul for food’. Bird Island, where this sad event occured, has intensive commercial fishing around allowed, while the main colony on another, larger island is doing nicely subsequent to a commercial fishing ban around it.
    Nature is cruel, but the damage to the truth from sloppy and emotive journalism is equally cruel.

  12. You are all dudes, stupids, etc. Don’t you get it? The extreme cold weather killing the pengiuns is all because of Global Warming. Check it out in your own oven, switch it on, let it heat up for a few minutes, then you will see the temperature drop inside the oven. And I should be nominated for the Nobel prize for peace, or stupidity or something similarly irrelevant.

  13. I suggest that Australia export Barrie Harrop to the Island as a last resort. He is a great source of hot air about global warming and windmills.

  14. AGW has Polar Bears floating on Ice and we have frozen Penquins.

  15. Mr. Toad says:{June 22, 2010 at 3:59 am}
    “There is clear evidence of correlation to a sudden increase in football in the area”
    Do you mean that the the cold and wet weather caused the increased football in the area, or do you mean that the increased football in the area caused the cold and wet weather? If you research one side, I’ll research the other and maybe we both can get a nice fat check from the government.

  16. So we have an example of fear of losing species. The climate taxes will reverse this bird die off.

  17. I lived in Port Elizabeth from 1978 – 88 and often sailed around Bird Island.
    During that 10 year period I never once experienced freezing temperatures.
    So what’s changed?

  18. Richard111 says:
    June 22, 2010 at 5:10 am
    “I lived in Port Elizabeth from 1978 – 88 and often sailed around Bird Island.
    During that 10 year period I never once experienced freezing temperatures.
    So what’s changed?”
    Me: It’s the sun. There’s something wrong with it and its getting smaller and cooler and no sunspots and it will be the cause of another ice-age, the little one I mean. So, what had cause gobal warming will cause global cooling, and warming, and cooling and…………………………climate change. Read here: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20627640.800-whats-wrong-with-the-sun.html

  19. I keep explaining that CO2 acts as a near-surface coolant in a freely-convective atmosphere due to its relative specific heat and rate of thermal expansion.
    Now, will they believe me? 🙂
    [Well they shouldn’t because of the penguins.]

  20. CTM,
    I don’t think that Tux is of the same variety of Penguin as the poor African Penguin, but he sure is an Open Source one 😉 .
    Now back on topic, please send more money to the African Penguin Rescue Association it is far worse than we thought.

  21. Meanwhile, my son the avid fisherman in central Florida tells me he hasn’t caught a single fish this summer. The cold weather in Jan-Feb apparently killed a lot of them off.

  22. It’s sad that the chicks froze to death. Hopefully there are fishing quotas to leave behind enough food for them to recover their numbers.

  23. This story appeared on the local news here in SA and it was stated that the population suffered because a drought prior to this cold snap prevented growth of terrestrial vegetation and hence nest building material and shelter was diminished which meant the penguins were more exposed and couldn’t make it… a fact which was ommitted from this post.
    So perhaps we can blame this on global warming 😉
    Here in KwaZulu Natal we are having a brutal winter, many low temp records have been broken and it is extremely miserable! The world cup is keeping us happy though 🙂

  24. It is sad… more evidence of Climate Change…
    ANTHONY, I always look forward to your sea ice news, but this week you didn’t have any ‘sea ice news!’ Why is that?

  25. When I saw Tux I got my hopes up for a story on Linux, only to have it dashed by a story about a stupid fish-eating bird. BTW, its not that uncommon for colonies to loose a most of their chicks in some years. Running out with space heaters and bird parkas does nothing to strengthen the population, just makes it dependent on human intervention. What are these people, socialists?
    PS Have anyone noticed that about the only time a fresh water fish is filmed in a nature documentary ( other then piranha), it is being eaten by some stupid bird?

  26. Lank says:
    June 21, 2010 at 11:01 pm
    I’d hate to think of the catastropic consequences of another ice age! Back to the Dark Ages and beyond for us humans!!

    Or even back to the cave age. Underground would be one of the few places to escape it.

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