A previously unknown “supercolony” of Adélie penguins has been discovered in the Antarctic, easing fears their numbers had been in decline for decades.
The thriving colony inhabits the Danger Islands, where the effects of both climate change and human activity are less pronounced than in other parts of Antarctica.
Located off the Antarctic Peninsula’s northern tip, these islands are both incredibly remote and surrounded by thick sea ice.
This allowed the penguins to remain hidden from the world, until a team of researchers mounted an expedition there to investigate signs of nesting birds.
“Until recently, the Danger Islands weren’t known to be an important penguin habitat,” said Professor Heather Lynch, an ecologist at Stony Brook University who co-led the work.