This week's In The News addresses a recent report released on December 4, 1998, by the international Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN)-World Conservation Union. The report, prepared by IUCN researchers and penguin biologists from the New England Aquarium, states that penguin populations are facing alarming declines worldwide and that nine species should be listed as endangered or vulnerable, and two others should be classified as near threatened. This report builds on findings from recent scientific articles, including that of ecologist William Fraser, Montana State University (Science Vol 276 No 5320, 1997) and Dr. P. D. Boersma, University of Washington (Condor 100:245-253, 1998). The fact that many penguin species cannot sustain their populations provides further evidence that the health of our oceans is in peril. Penguins are threatened by human activities, habitat destruction, and overfishing of their food supplies. In addition, the rise in surface sea temperature due to El Nino appears to be affecting penguin populations. The six resources introduce the issues surrounding penguin declines.
(no comments available yet for this resource)