Over the past 5 years, its number has more than doubled. And this year, our island became the first where, at the end of September, subantarctic penguins began to build nests and occupy last year’s nests that had melted from the snow. Therefore, it is not surprising that the first egg appeared in our place, on the first of November,” – noted the biologist of the 28th Ukrainian Antarctic Expedition, Vadym Tkachenko.
|Photo: Vadim Tkachenko|
According to the biologist, it is currently difficult to predict the success of nesting this season, because many factors affect this process. In particular:
- access of adult penguins to the sea and the opportunity to feed on krill in time;
- the amount of snow, which can make it difficult for penguins to hatch eggs;
- predators that hunt for penguin eggs are primarily skua (they also return to this area in the Antarctic spring, biologists have already registered the first such birds 20 kilometers from the station).
|Subantarctic penguins incubate eggs|
The Ukrainian Antarctic Expedition predicts that the first baby penguins will appear near the station in early December.
“And then there will be hundreds of them here,” – scientists say.
Iryna Batiuk, “UP. Life”
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