On Oct 4th after months of rehabilitation, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), along with members from Centro de Recuperação de Animais Marinhos (CRAM), Institute for Aquatic Mammals (IMA) and the environmental authority in Brazil, Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis (IBAMA), 372 juvenile Magellanic Penguins, stranded because of inadequate food stocks, were loaded onto a military plane and airlifted to Southern Brazil for their release back to the wild.
According to Dr. Dee Boersma, a penguin researcher, the mass stranding of the penguins left them in extremely poor body condition. She states, there is a flow of warmer water (1° C higher than normal) which has caused the juvenile penguins to keep going north, past their usual range, where they are unable to find adequate food. There is always a high mortality rate for first year birds but this increased northerly range and lack of available food had increased the normal mortality rate for this group of penguins.
I don’t know what to say, but it seems like we might have broken something…