The natural environment of the penguins in Antarctica is continually threatened by climate change. Gentoo Penguins live primarily on krill (small crustaceans) in the wild, but as the polar ice caps melt, there are fewer krill in the waters as they feed on algae on the ice itself. Penguin food sources are also threatened by the overfishing of krill in the Antarctic, which is used to make commercial fish food. Fluctuations of their food sources threatens the mortality rate of penguin chicks, and therefore the later adult population of penguins for breeding.
One of the main Gentoo Penguin colonies is on the Falkland Islands, which is becoming more and more populated due to the rise in tourism and the construction of roads and buildings on their breeding sites, which therefore threatens the Gentoos natural habitat.
What can I do to help?
One of the main ways to help is to only buy fish that are sustainably sourced. Suppliers are certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, so look out for their logo when you are buying fish. At the SEA LIFE London Aquarium we have signed the Sustainable Fish City Pledge, outlining our commitment to using sustainably sourced fish.
Everything you do to help reduce the impact of climate change will also help the Gentoo Penguins. In reducing the amount of waste we produce, the amount of energy we use and the amount of natural resources we consume, we can help keep the planet a safe and habitable place for Gentoo Penguins.