Photo by @FransLanting
Emperor penguins raise their young on the sea ice surrounding Antarctica where there is no vegetation or rocks with which they can build nests. So when the young are born, parents brood them on their feet, but a few weeks later they start wandering around on their own. I came across this adorable chick at the edge of a colony, where it was awaiting the return of its parents who shuttle in food from open water. It’s a race against time, because they have to fledge their young before the sea ice melts later in the summer. Nobody knows yet what the exact effects of climate change will be for these remarkable birds, but the worst-case scenario is that the sea ice will start melting from under the feet of young emperor penguins before they are ready to go to sea. Just like polar bears in the Arctic, emperor penguins are totally dependent on sea ice for their survival. Follow me @FransLanting
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