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Why are emperor penguins an indicator of climate change?

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announced a proposal to list the emperor penguin as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), based on evidence that the animal’s sea ice habitat is shrinking and is likely to continue to do so over the next several decades. Research from penguin scientists is key to informing policy around much-needed protections for the emperor penguin. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s additional collaborative research efforts suggest how conservation actions can help to increase species’ resilience to climate stress, including protecting habitat, increasing habitat connectivity, and reducing non-climate stressors, such as overfishing and ocean pollution.

Credits: Bruno Jourdain/IGE-UGA/IPEV

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