• Industrial pollution \'affecting penguins\' habitat\'

Environmental Laboratory

Industrial pollution \'affecting penguins\' habitat\'

Feb 13 2009

Researchers observing a colony of penguins have found that the creatures are having to swim increasingly further from their nests in order to find food.

This is because of factors such as over-fishing and industrial pollution, claims the team from the University of Washington.

Rockhopper penguins are being forced to swim up to 50 miles a day to find food for their chicks and mates, compared to 25 miles in the past, the study found.

Dee Boersma, professor of biology at the University of Washington, said the study also indicated that Argentina’s Punta Tombo colony of penguins has declined by 20 per cent in the last 22 years.

She commented: "If we continue to fish down the food chain and take smaller and smaller fish like anchovies, there won’t be anything left for penguins and other wildlife that depend on these small fish for food."

According to Dr David Molden, of the International Water Management Institute, we should make attempts to heighten awareness of ’water footprints’ and learn to appreciate that it is becoming a scarce resource.

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