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To coincide with this global awareness day, our Polar Programme Manager, Rod Downie, has written his top 10 facts about emperor penguins.

Before you read the blog though, why not have a look at this incredible footage of a penguin cam.

Commenting on World Penguin Day, Rod said: 

“Penguins are the iconic species of the ice. The first time I saw emperor penguins in Antarctica, I was struck by their serene grace and intricate beauty. They are the giants of the penguin world. No other species is so perfectly adapted to survive the world’s harshest environment – Antarctica.

“However, these unique birds are threatened by climate change.  Recently WWF supported scientists from the British Antarctic Survey to undertake the first British-led field studies on emperor penguins in almost 60 years. This will help to support the development of Marine Protected Areas in Antarctica. We urgently need to tackle climate change head-on by honouring the Paris climate agreement, reducing carbon emissions and embracing clean energy solutions.”

Adopt an Adélie penguin with WWF

Adélie penguins depend on sea ice for their main food source - krill. But parts of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean are warming rapidly, which is affecting some of the penguins' feeding grounds. Visit our adoption page.