The Poop on Penguins
Global warming has scientists concerned about emperor penguins, whose ice-sheet breeding grounds are in danger of significant shrinkage. Even more troubling: trying to find the elegant gentlemen on a continent the size of the United States and Mexico combined. Interestingly, the latter problem has been solved by following penguin poop from space, according to an NPR report.
Researchers at the British Antarctic Survey noticed reddish-brown stains on the ice that stretches across Antarctica. Penguins stay on the same ice for months and certainly leave their mark, allowing scientists to track them during their winter breeding season, when the weather makes it impossible to reach the colonies.
With the new guano-powered data, scientists were able to find 10 new penguin colonies, six colonies that had moved from previously mapped positions, and another six thought to have disappeared.