Friday, January 16, 2009

Disappearing Rockhoppers

The number of northern rockhopper penguins on the South Atlantic islands of Tristan da Cunha and Gough Islands is believed to have fallen by 90 per cent in the last 130 years.

An estimated two million of the endangered species have vanished in the last half century, according to reports, but the cause for their rapid decline remains a mystery.

More than 80 per cent of the world's northern rockhopper penguin population live on the two islands and the dramatic fall in numbers has caused concern.

The declines on Gough since the 1950s are equivalent to losing 100 birds a day for the last 50 years.

Photo: ABBIE TRAYLER-SMITH

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