Active Stocks
Fri May 24 2024 15:59:27
  1. Tata Steel share price
  2. 174.80 -0.37%
  1. NTPC share price
  2. 374.85 0.68%
  1. State Bank Of India share price
  2. 828.60 -0.45%
  1. ITC share price
  2. 436.10 -1.16%
  1. Power Grid Corporation Of India share price
  2. 318.50 -0.39%
Business News/ News / H5N1 bird flu behind hundreds of dead penguins in Antarctica? Here's what Scientists' research says
BackBack

H5N1 bird flu behind hundreds of dead penguins in Antarctica? Here's what Scientists' research says

En masse deaths of a species of penguin was reported on the remote southern continent of Antarctica. A research expedition led by wildlife scientists has come out with intriguing findings on this.

Around 20 million pairs of penguins breed in the Antarctic each year, as per the British Antarctic Survey. (REUTERS)Premium
Around 20 million pairs of penguins breed in the Antarctic each year, as per the British Antarctic Survey. (REUTERS)

En masse deaths of a penguin species was reported on the remote southern continent of Antarctica. The Federation University Australia said in a statement that a scientific expedition last month revealed that over 532 Adelie penguins died in Antarctica, and suggested thousands more could have died. 

The Australian University suggested that the field tests of these birds were inconclusive. However, the researchers suspect the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus to be the cause of en masse deaths of the penguins. 

Also read: Unabated global warming will wipe penguins off this planet

Following this mass mortality event, samples were shipped off to labs for testing. Researchers hope to come to a conclusion on the deaths in the coming months. Scientists are of the belief that H5N1 influenza could decimate threatened species of penguins and other animals.

Also read: Iran claims ‘property rights’ to Antarctica, plans to build naval base

H5N1 influenza cases

H5N1 influenza cases were first reported in South America in 2022, and have spread aggressively among wildlife species. The disease subsequently made its way to Antarctica. The remote southern continent reported the first case of H5N1 in February, Reuters reported.

Also read: Bird flu outbreak '100 times worse' than Covid pandemic, say experts

Meagan Dewar, a wildlife biologist with Federation University who was a part of the latest expedition said, "This has the potential to have a massive impact on wildlife that is already being impacted by things like climate change and other environmental stresses," the Reuters report said.

The wildlife biologist said the frozen carcasses of Adelie penguins were found covered in snow on Heroina Island in sub-zero temperatures. The expedition team was unable to count the carcasses of Adelie penguins, but estimated that several thousand had died in the preceding weeks or months.

Also read: Wind turbines are friendlier to birds than oil-and-gas drilling

Every year, around 2,80,000 Adelie penguins breed on Heroina Island. “Having finished breeding, the live penguins had already moved on by the time the expedition arrived," Reuters quoted Meagan Dewar as saying.

What Scientists' research says?

The expedition revealed the presence of H5 strain bird flu on the Antarctic peninsula and three nearby islands. The strain was found in skua seabirds that feed on penguin eggs and chicks.

As per the British Antarctic Survey, around 20 million pairs of penguins breed in the Antarctic each year.

(With inputs from Reuters)

You are on Mint! India's #1 news destination (Source: Press Gazette). To learn more about our business coverage and market insights Click Here!

Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less
Published: 05 Apr 2024, 11:38 AM IST
Next Story footLogo
Recommended For You