| 18.2°C Dublin

Rising ocean temperatures blamed as hundreds of penguins wash up dead

Close

The little blue penguin is native to New Zealand and Australia

The little blue penguin is native to New Zealand and Australia

The little blue penguin is native to New Zealand and Australia

Hundreds of the world’s smallest penguins are washing up dead on beaches in the northernmost region of New Zealand’s North Island.

The NZ Department of Conservation said that an estimated 200 korora, also known as the little blue penguin, were washing up on the area’s beaches each day, caused by rising ocean temperatures.

The ocean is absorbing more than 90 per cent of the excess heat trapped in Earth’s atmosphere, largely due to the burning of fossil fuels.

Korora population numbers are also being affected by prolonged El Nino weather conditions, which increase sea-surface temperatures and onshore winds, making it more difficult for the tiny penguins to nest and feed.

The korora, which is just under 10 inches (25cm) tall and weighs about a kilogram, is found in New Zealand and southern Australia. The species is classified as at risk of extinction, with numbers in significant decline. 

Daily Digest Newsletter

Get ahead of the day with the morning headlines at 7.30am and Fionnán Sheahan's exclusive take on the day's news every afternoon, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required


Related topics


Most Watched





Privacy