16 Apr '12, 4am

Spaced-Based Census Doubles Emperor Penguin Numbers

Spaced-Based Census Doubles Emperor Penguin Numbers

Given the inhospitable vastness of Antarctica, where temperatures regularly dip below -50c, counting the continent's most iconic species had long been a challenge, but not anymore. Thanks to a little help from space, researchers undertaking a census of Emperor penguins at the South Pole now say they have a better idea of how many of the flightless, tuxedoed birds live there -- and it's nearly twice as many as previous thought. Using the latest in satellite imaging technology, a international team of scientists scoured Antarctica's frozen landscape for signs of Emperor penguin colonies. All told, they counted 44 separate penguin hangouts, including seven that were as yet undiscovered. According to the BBC , biologists used these aerial surveys to make a more accurate guess as to the number of penguins present in each colony, all without having to brave the region's freezing...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/space-based-pe...

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