> Powerboat-World.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Newsletters FishingBoating Features Photo Gallery Sail-World Australia Australian Cruising
MarineBusiness-World
Sail-World.com : Counting emperor penguins from outer space
Counting emperor penguins from outer space

'Emperor penguins on the sea ice close to Halley Research Station.'    British Antarctic Survey ©

A new study using satellite mapping technology reveals there are twice as many emperor penguins in Antarctica than was previously thought. The results provide an important benchmark for monitoring the impact of environmental change on the population of this iconic bird.

Reporting this week in the journal PLoS ONE, an international team of scientists describe how they used Very High Resolution (VHR) satellite images to estimate the number of penguins at each colony around the coastline of Antarctica.

Using a technique known as pan-sharpening to increase the resolution of the satellite imagery, the science teams were able to differentiate between birds, ice, shadow and penguin poo (guano). They then used ground counts and aerial photography to calibrate the analysis. These birds breed in areas that are very difficult to study because they are remote and often inaccessible with temperatures as low as −50°C (−58 degrees Fahrenheit).
Satellite image showing Halley Bay Emperor penguin colony (Photo: Digital Globe)
Lead author and geographer Peter Fretwell at British Antarctic Survey (BAS) which is funded by the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) explains, “We are delighted to be able to locate and identify such a large number of emperor penguins. We counted 595,000 birds, which is almost double the previous estimates of 270,000 – 350,000 birds. This is the first comprehensive census of a species taken from space.”
On the ice, emperor penguins with their black and white plumage stand out against the snow and colonies are clearly visible on satellite imagery. This allowed the team to analyze 44 emperor penguin colonies around the coast of Antarctica, with seven previously unknown.
“The methods we used are an enormous step forward in Antarctic ecology because we can conduct research safely and efficiently with little environmental impact, and determine estimates of an entire penguin population, said co-author Michelle LaRue from the University of Minnesota and funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation.
 
Map showing the locations of Emperor penguin colonies in Antarctica.
 
“The implications of this study are far-reaching: we now have a cost-effective way to apply our methods to other poorly-understood species in the Antarctic, to strengthen on-going field research, and to provide accurate information for international conservation efforts.”
 
BAS biologist Dr Phil Trathan, and co-author, noted, “Current research suggests that emperor penguin colonies will be seriously affected by climate change. An accurate continent-wide census that can be easily repeated on a regular basis will help us monitor more accurately the impacts of future change on this iconic species.”
 
Scientists are concerned that in some regions of Antarctica, earlier spring warming is leading to loss of sea ice habitat for emperor penguins, making their northerly colonies more vulnerable to further climate change.
 
Aerial photograph of Halley Bay Emperor penguin colony (Photo: Digital Globe)
 
Dr Trathan continued, “Whilst current research leads us to expect important declines in the number of emperor penguins over the next century, the effects of warming around Antarctica are regional and uneven. In the future we anticipate that the more southerly colonies should remain, making these important sites for further research and protection.”
This research is a collaboration between British Antarctic Survey, University of Minnesota/National Science Foundation, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Australian Antarctic Division. The UK component of this research was partly funded by NERC and partly by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Overseas Territories Environment Programme (OTEP).

View Video - Peter Fretwell on how to count penguins from space


by British Antarctic Survey

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.powerboat-world.com/index.cfm?nid=96118

10:06 PM Sun 15 Apr 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







Power Boat News







UK superyacht industry on the rise by British Marine Federation,












Predictwind helps you pick the best time to depart by Richard Gladwell Sail-World.com/nz,
































Understanding the Ocean's role in Greenland Glacier melt by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI),


Dangerous conditions for boating on entire NSW Coast by Transport Roads and Maritme Services,


Revealing report on Search for American yacht Nina released *Feature by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,












AYSS PacificNet/Tahiti voted a success!
Taiwan's first marina a Superior effort *Feature
Ferretti Group’s ‘Service University’ for the first time in Asia_Pac
Solar 1 Monte Carlo Cup 2014 - Day 1 + Video
Portland’s new state-of-the-art boat ramp officially opened
2014 Sarasota Grand Prix - 77 Lucas Oil SilverHook got second place
Superboats turn up the heat in the Tropics
Dangerous conditions forecast for NSW boaters
APSNZ appoints Duthie Lidgard as new MD
Whale freed from rope at Byron Bay
Tidal current installations will increase boating hazards
Dangerous conditions for NSW coastal boaters from Thursday
World premieres and national debuts for Sydney International Boat Show
Marine Auctions experiencing rising tide of interest *Feature
Tags reveal Chilean devil rays are among ocean's deepest divers
Auckland On Water Boat Show to hold world record attempt
Zodiac at Sydney International Boat Show 2014 – Australian
Gold Coast International Marine Expo - Exhibitor space filling fast
Ceramic coated exhaust manifolds reduce engine bay temps on superboat
Reminder of safe distance requirements for whales
Changes to Australian bass closed season   
Fusion achieves industry-wide acceptance of FUSION-Link   
BSE Brisbane Slipways open for business as normal   
Honda’s everywhere at Sydney International Boat Show!   
Fifth round of XCAT World Powerboat Series moves to China   
Sly 43 - Making her Australian premier   
Maritimo full of confidence following recent wins   
Australia event cements its position as hosting 'the' marina party   
Up close and personal with whales on the Gold Coast   
SA Marina Day encourages South Australians to enjoy their marinas   
Southport Yacht Club raffle: Dusit Thani, BRIG Falcon, Marriott stay   
Enjoy the whale spectacle, just keep your distance   
The Dinghy Nav Light Solution- a brilliantly dumb idea   
Extension granted for salvage of a paddle steamer on the Murray River   
Sydney International Boat Show set to embrace new location   
Thermal imaging helping bulk carriers avoid collisions in port and in   
Third CYCA Solas Trusts grant to Australian Volunteer Coast Guard   
CruiseCraft adds Explorer 595 Hard Top   
Severe weather warnings prompt reminder to boat owners   
Be won over by the new Azimut 50   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png   http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS PBW
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT