For those of you in-the-know about penguins, or those of you who are just curious and actually read this blog, lemme clarify my last post:
There are Adelie penguins at more southern latitudes on other parts of this continent, but the colony on Charcot Island is farther south than any colonies we’ve found on the West Antarctic Peninsula (the chunk of Antarctica that juts up towards South America). This is the first time we’ve even been able to come so far south with our ship in the pack ice, since the extent of winter ice is decreasing each year, so there may very well be small Adelie colonies further south on the Peninsula that we simply haven’t seen yet. Perhaps even more important, though, is that the ecosystem is different here, and more rapidly changing than elsewhere in Antarctica. Adelie populations further north on the Peninsula are declining. Other kinds of penguins — Gentoos and Chinstraps — are moving in, since they’re more of a “sub-polar” species.
Cute pictures of penguins are on their way — I promise! I’ll post many more photos when I’m back on land with no limitations on my internet connection.