The migration of a penguin and the climate crisis

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The migration of a penguin and the climate crisis

An Adélie penguin has been spotted more than three thousand kilometers away from its natural habitat, moving from Anatarctica to New Zealand. As reported by Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, The penguin was spotted by a local couple during a walk.

The two told the BBC that it was a real animal, and not a toy as they had thought looking at it in the distance. The man then called the experts of the penguin recovery team, worried that the animal would not enter the water and could be attacked by predators living around the beach.

The penguin was recovered and taken to a clinic to undergo some tests. Once fully recovered, he will be released on a safe beach on the Banks Peninsula. University of Otago zoology professor Philip Seddon, said to Guardian: "I think if we start seeing annual Antarctic penguin arrivals, we could infer that something has changed in the ocean.

More studies will give us a greater understanding of where they go. the penguins, what they do, how the population trends are: they will tell us something about the health of the marine ecosystem in general." Often the Adélie penguins find themselves all together on the cliffs overlooking the sea: generally individuals opt for a synchronized group dive, as the possibility of being grabbed by leopard seals (Hydrurga leptonyx), lurking in the water, decreases all the time increase in the number of penguins.

This is the dilution effect of many animal groups. Furthermore, the seal can only eat a defined number of penguins in a given time; there are some penguins that on the edge of the cliff induce their companions to jump with feints, and then look down from the cliff in order to check for the presence of leopard seals, or push them from behind, thus sacrificing some companions.

It reproduces during the austral summer, in October the males arrive first in the reproduction sites near the rocky coastal areas which are not icy and occupy the place where the nest will be built; a few days later the females arrive and the courtships begin.

Once formed, couples build their own nest, a hollow surrounded by rocky pebbles, in which 2 eggs are laid in November. When finished laying the second egg, the female heads towards the sea to feed while her mate hatches for about 7-10 days, after which the female succeeds him; the two partners alternate in brooding during the 35 days of incubation.

Pic and video by Corriere della Sera

WWF: "Iberian lynx saved from extinction"

Studies carried out in March 2005 estimated a population of the Iberian lynx to be less than 100, compared to about 400 in 2000 and 4,000 in 1960.

If the Paris lynx were to become extinct, it would be the first species of big cat to disappear since the time of the extinction of the Smilodon 10 000 years ago. The only breeding populations live in Spain and are believed to only survive in the Doñana National Park and the Sierra de Andújar.

However, in 2007, the Spanish authorities announced the discovery of an unknown population in the territory of Castile-La Mancha. Subsequently this population was estimated at 15 specimens. The Parisian lynx and the habitats in which it lives enjoy the most complete protection and even legal hunting has been banned for a long time.

The threats that weigh heavily on her are habitat destruction, poisoning, traffic accidents, wild dogs and poaching. The destruction of the habitat is mainly due to the increase in infrastructures and the development of urban and holiday centers, as well as monocultures, which are increasingly fragmenting the lynx's range.

Furthermore, it should also be remembered that the populations of rabbits, the main prey of the lynx, have significantly decreased following the spread of diseases such as myxomatosis and hemorrhagic pneumonia. In 2018 a population of over 650 specimens was estimated, while with the 2020 census there was a population growth up to over 1,100 specimens, of which at least 240 females of reproductive age.

According to experts, if the population continues to grow at this rate, within twenty years it is estimated that the species may no longer be considered at risk of extinction. Its population has increased tenfold to 1,111 today, including 239 females of reproductive age (up from 27 in 2002), according to WWF.

WWF said: "The progressive reduction of wild rabbits, which make up 90% of the lynx's diet, the direct persecution of man and the destruction and fragmentation of habitats, resulting from urban expansion, have caused a drastic decrease in the population of the species.

. " According to estimates by various experts, the number of lynxes should reach 3,000 - 3,500 individuals, including about 750 females of reproductive age, to be considered in a favorable conservation status.