Adélie penguins species:
Affected by: Climate change , Fisheries
The Adélie is the littlest, and also the most widespread, species of penguin in the Antarctic.
They might look a bit clumsy on land, but penguins are brilliant swimmers. They can dive down to 180m – though they tend to catch their food (mainly krill and fish) much closer to the surface.
Penguins may seem cute to us, but they're excellent predators and very efficient foragers. Adélies have a feisty attitude too. They’ve been known to take on potential predators – seals or large seabirds – or even attack visiting researchers with their flippers.
Adélie penguins are increasing in Antarctica. However, in areas where climate change is established, Adélie populations have fallen by more than 65% in the past 25 years. The biggest threat to them right now is climate change (other penguins, like gentoos, are better adapted to warmer climates).
Why Adélie penguins are so important
Adélie penguins are a vital part of the Antarctic food chain – they eat tiny creatures like krill and small fish, and are a source of food for predators like leopard seals and killer whales.
By protecting Adélie penguins we’re helping look after their ocean environment, which is good for all the wildlife that depends on it.