Penguin poop spotted from space in Antarctica has lead scientist to believe that’s “good news” for the emperor penguin population.
In a study released Wednesday, scientist from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) said the animal droppings means there are more emperor penguin colonies than previously believed, according to the Associated Press. (RELATED: Giant Parrots Used To Roam Ancient New Zealand, According To Newly-Discovered Fossils)
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With the help of satellite mapping technology from the European Commission’s Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite mission, scientist have discovered a total of 61 colonies, 11 more than previously believed on the southernmost continent. (RELATED: Police Take Parrot Into Custody After It Tries To Help Drug Dealers Escape)
This new discovery brings the population up to more than half a million.
According to the report:
The majestic emperor penguin breeds in remote areas where temperatures can drop as low as minus 50 degrees Celsius (minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit). Researchers have long relied on aerial photographs and satellites to spot colonies of the flightless marine birds.
British Antarctic Survey geographer, Peter Fretwell, said while the discovery is “good news” he noted that the new found colonies were small.
“(They) only take the overall population count up by 5-10% to just over half a million penguins or around 265,500 – 278,500 breeding pairs,” Fretwell explained.