Meet Antarctica’s adorable Adélie penguin.
Adélies are small penguins, standing at 70cm tall and is instantly recognisable by the white rings around their eyes. They’re sociable animals, and live in colonies called rookeries. There are more than 5 million Adélie penguins in the Antarctic, living in rookeries of many thousands. Our penguin species poster takes a close look at the Adèlie, their frozen homes and how you can help safeguard their future.
The main reason they’re under threat is because the world’s getting warmer – climate change is melting their icy habitat in the Antarctic. This area is a huge frozen, desert – although it’s bitterly cold, it rarely rains. One of the Adѐlie’s main food sources – krill – breeds and feeds under the Antarctic sea ice. A drop in the amount of this vital sea ice means there’s been a longterm decline in krill in some areas.
Adélie penguins are one of the smallest and most widely found penguins in the Antarctic. They might seem clumsy on land, but they’re brilliant swimmers. They can dive down to 180m – though they tend to catch their food (mainly krill and fish) much closer to the surface. Adélie penguins depend on sea ice for their main food source – krill. But parts of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean are warming rapidly, which is affecting the penguins’ feeding grounds.