Volcanic eruption threatens one million penguins in sub Antarctic

Posted November 21st, 2018 by admin and filed in 长沙夜网
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One million penguins could be at risk as a volcano continues its third straight month of eruption, according to the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

Mount Curry, a volcano on Zavodovski Island in the sub Antarctic South Sandwich archipelago, has been spewing ash into the sky since March. The island is home to the largest colony of chinstrap penguins.

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    In June, the BAS was alerted to a magnitude 7.2 earthquake on the island while remapping the area. Upon further examination, they found that two volcanoes are erupting: Mount Curry, as well as Mount Sourabaya on Bristol Island to the south.

    Fishing vessels in the area captured the eruption of Mount Curry that showed that the main vent was on the western side of the island. However, scientists are concerned as prevailing winds are blowing the ash towards the east, home to the chinstraps. As well as the chinstraps being threatened by ash are an additional 180,000 macaroni penguins.

    Moulting chinstrap penguins breed on the South Sandwich Islands.

    Pete Bucktrout, British Antarctic Survey

    Images captured by satellite show that between one-third to one-half of the island is covered in ash.

    “We don’t know what impact the ash will have on the penguins. If it has been heavy and widespread it may have a serious effect on the population,” said Peter Fretwell of BAS. “It’s impossible to say but two scientific expeditions are scheduled to visit the region later this year and will try to assess the impact of the eruption.”

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