About 90% of world’s largest king penguin colony has mysteriously disappeared

July 31, 2018 by  
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Recent satellite images and a new study show that only 200,000 of the two million king penguins who lived on the French island of Île aux Cochons in 1982 still remain. The drastic disappearance of these penguins is a puzzling occurrence that scientists are still trying to piece together, but they are looking at climate change as the likely culprit. The remote Île aux Cochons lies halfway between the tip of Africa and Antarctica and is home to the largest colony of king penguins in the world. Henri Weimerskirch, ecologist at the Centre for Biological Studies in Chize, France , first witnessed this colony in the early 1980s and plans to return to the island in early 2019 after three decades of satellite images revealed the population collapse. “It is completely unexpected, and particularly significant since this colony represented nearly one third of the king penguins in the world,” Weimerskirch said. Related: The world’s largest wildlife sanctuary proposed for Antarctica The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is still listing the conservation effort for these creatures under the “least concern” status despite the recent decline in numbers. As for what happened to hundreds of thousands of mated pairs of king penguins, there are several possibilities that Weimerskirch and his colleagues are juggling. The most likely causes are climate change and resulting El Niño weather events, competition for food and avian cholera. Scientists have not been able to examine the penguins for indications leading to a singular cause, but chances are that the factors are intermingled and aggravated by each other. Competition, which can be worsened by climate change, leads to a lack of food, resulting in struggles that are “amplified and can trigger an unprecedented rapid and drastic drop in numbers,” according to Weimerskirch. Another possible factor in the penguins’ decline could be an incident similar to the El Niño event that decimated the Emperor penguin population in Terre Adélie by 50 percent in the late 1970s. Meanwhile, avian cholera has impacted birds on nearby islands, and could be the problem on Île aux Cochons. The news is particularly daunting for the king penguins, because they only lay one egg at a time when nesting. The penguins carry the egg around on their feet, and the mates take turns every few weeks protecting and incubating the chick until it is hatched. This process takes over two months. Because the penguins do not nest year-round, and with food becoming scarcer and scarcer, a rapid rebound in population does not seem likely. + Antarctic Science Via The Guardian,   IUCN and Cool Antarctica Image via Liam Quinn

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About 90% of world’s largest king penguin colony has mysteriously disappeared

Colorado Caravan converts a vintage Airstream into a sleek office for under $20K

July 31, 2018 by  
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You’ve probably spotted a caravan rolling down the road once or twice, looking shiny and new, and longed for that ramblin’ life. That freedom may be beyond your grasp at the moment, but Kerri Cole and Patrick Neely, the couple who own and operate Colorado Caravan, are ready to help. Cole and Neely are  Airstream  renovation experts, and their recent conversion of a vintage caravan into their company office will inspire you to embrace tiny home living. Since 2016, the Denver couple has transformed old Airstream trailers into portable bars, rooms on wheels for motor lodges and mobile sales offices. The duo is using their latest refurbishing of a 1969 Airstream Globetrotter as a sales office and showroom for the company — and they love the fact they can hit the open road whenever the whim strikes. Colorado Caravan’s latest project, named Bonnie, emerged after Cole and Neely posted on Craigslist that they were looking to buy old Airstream trailers. They paid only $2,500 for the 21-foot caravan , but a mice infestation in the insulation and extensive water damage required gutting the whole structure and rebuilding the interior. Related: Couple restores an old Airstream into a chic tiny home on wheels The materials for the renovation cost only $19,180 thanks to the couple’s creativity and innovation. Cole, a professional interior designer , and Neely, a former vintage car renovator and house flipper, combined their talents, cut corners wisely and indulged in features like a good air conditioning system and a two-burner gas cooktop. Related: Vintage Airstream converted into home/office hybrid The amount of interior space nearly doubled by ripping out all the upper cabinets. Choosing simple styles and a basic black-and-white color scheme with leather and brown accents gives the interior an open, airy ambiance. Cost-conscious IKEA cabinets, walnut veneer counters, basic kitchen appliances and engineered wood flooring kept costs low. The trailer’s original pendant light fixtures and sconces and were kept intact as homage to the original design, and the wet bath’s molded fiberglass sink and shower were undamaged and left in place. With Bonnie renovated and ready to go, the couple can take their business on the road whenever the mood strikes. + Colorado Caravan Via Dwell Images via Alison McQuain Photography and Colorado Caravan

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Colorado Caravan converts a vintage Airstream into a sleek office for under $20K

Track Happy Feet’s Progress as He Swims Back Home

September 5, 2011 by  
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Screengrab via OurFarSouth.org The world’s most beloved wayward penguin , Happy Feet, was released today back into the Southern Ocean — two months after waddling ashore in New Zealand, hundreds of miles from home. It was a bittersweet send-off for the the bird’s tireless rescuers, though everyone was happy to do their part in helping the Emperor penguin find his way back to the chilly Antarctic climes. But for those not ready to say goodbye just ye… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Track Happy Feet’s Progress as He Swims Back Home

Penguin Heads Home After Making a Rare Wrong Turn

August 29, 2011 by  
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Photo: alisdair / cc Two months ago, on a sandy stretch of coastline in north-western New Zealand, the most peculiar creature waddled ashore — and straight into the hearts of animal-lovers the world over. Biologists said that the young Emperor penguin likely became lost while searching for food in the Antarctic Ocean , ultimately ending up thousands of miles away from its native habitat of ice and snow. At the time, the animal’s … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Penguin Heads Home After Making a Rare Wrong Turn

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