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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

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A Day For Penguins

A Day For Penguins

Curious penguin joins a research team, Antarctica (credit: Pinterest)


Every day offers an opportunity to consider a conservation issue. A day for penguins is no exception.

World Penguin Day recognizes one of the most iconic birds on the planet and it will be here soon. The flightless birds including the Emperor, Gentoo, Adelie, and Galapagos penguins, along with 13 others, are found only in the southern hemisphere. Colonies large and small inhabit Antarctica, South Africa, the Galapagos, Australia, and New Zealand.

Penguin day provides a good opportunity for school teachers to focus attention on these remarkable birds and the environmental threats they face from overfishing, pollution, and climate change. It is also a chance to present new discoveries still being made about the behavior and population status. In one example, remote sensing images from satellite monitoring identified an unknown colony of more than 1.5 million birds populating an island off the Antarctic Peninsula. This discovery is hopeful sign for the conservation and long term survival of the birds.

A day or recognition is also an opportunity to be impressed by the adaptations these birds have made to occupy their marine and ice-bound environments. Underwater their agility is amazing and beautiful. A wildlife photographer could hardly have expected how the acrobatic birds would react to his presence in their environment above and below water. He was stunned! WHB

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