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Satellite discovers previously unknown pingvinkolonier

There are more emperor penguins in Antarctica than previously thought.

Pictures taken from outer space of the satellite Copernicus' Sentinel-2 reveals the 11 colonies of emperor penguins, which one is not known in advance. It writes the British Antarctic Survey in a news release.

This is the number of known pingvinkolonier on Antarctica from one day to the other increased by 20 percent. In all know the world now-a-61 colonies.

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One of the satellite images from the Copernicus' Sentinel-2. The reddish-brown splotches are pingvinekskrementer. Photo: Ninnis Bank

See afføringssporet, as the colony has left on the ice, in the middle of the image. Photo: Ninnis Bank

the Discovery was made by following the trail of pingvinernes stool. It has a characteristic reddish-brown color, which makes it easy to spot on the ice. New technology has also made researchers able to take pictures in a higher resolution than in the past.

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The newly discovered colonies are not quite so large as those that were known in advance. The researchers estimate, therefore, ’only' the total population of emperor penguins to be 5-10 percent higher than previously thought.

Two of the 11 colonies came as a particularly big surprise for the researchers. They were found very far from the coast, the one 180 miles away and placed on the sea ice that is anchored to the earth-bound icebergs - a pingvinhabitat, the researchers have never seen before.

- Many of the pingvinforskere, we have spoken with were in disbelief. Usually stays the penguins near the coast, says geographer Peter Fretwell, the lead author of the study, to the Guardian.

the Article continues under the picture ...

emperor penguins often look a bit comical when the stavrer over the ice. In the picture here we are in the Halley Bay in Antarctica. Photo: Peter Fretwell

emperor penguins should preferably be located near sea ice, as it is their preferred place to pass on the nature. They live in remote areas that are difficult for researchers to get to. Also, because the temperature often reaches minus 50 degrees.

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Phil Trathan, head of konserveringsbiologi by the British Antarctic Survey and has spent three decades researching penguins, calls for calm.

He calls kejserpingvinerne in the satellite imagery for the ’canaries in coal mines’, as all the finds are done in areas that are threatened by climate change.

- Although it is a good news that we have found these colonies, so are all avlsstederne at locations, where the latest projections show that there will probably be a decline of emperor penguins, he says in the press release.

See also: Holidays on the pristine land? Tag on luxury holidays to Antarctica

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