Search icon


31st Jul 2018

Largest king penguin colony in the world shrinks by 90 percent

Jade Hayden

king penguin


The largest king penguin colony in the world has shrunk by almost 90 percent over the last 30 years.

The Ile aux Cochons between Antarctica and Africa contained up to two million penguins the last time the birds were counted.

However, a new study has shown that just 200,000 penguins remain on the island.

The Antarctic Science journal report shows that the population of the birds has declined sharply since the 1980s.

The reason for this shrinkage is largely unknown, but it is thought that climate change may be a factor.

The study states:

“Aerial photographs taken from a helicopter, and satellite images were used to report on changes in the colony and population sizes over the past 50 years.

“The possible causes of this decline were explored but no plausible explanation for such an unprecedented decrease in penguin populations was found.”

The group in question is the largest king penguin colony and the second largest penguin colony in the world.

King penguins are the second most prominent species of penguin after the emperor penguin.