Roughly 2,000 Magellanic penguins have washed up dead on the beaches of Uruguay this July with empty stomachs and “tremendously thin” bodies.
“This is mortality in the water,” Carmen Leizagoyen, who works at Uruguay’s Environment Ministry, told AFP.
“Ninety percent are young specimens that arrive without fat reserves and with empty stomachs.”
The cause of the mass die-off is still unknown, but scientists are concerned that extreme climate changes are contributing to the rapid decline of the species.
Since 2004, experts have considered Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) to be ‘near threatened‘, and in the past 30 years or so, it’s become unnervingly common for hundreds of these birds to show up dead on the east coast of South America.
In 2010, for instance, more than 550 penguins died of starvation on the beaches of Brazil.
Source: Science Alert