Hundreds of dead little blue penguins wash ashore in New Zealand. Find out why

Edited By: Gandharv Walia
Wellington   Updated: Jun 17, 2022, 06:14 PM(IST)

Bodies of hundreds of little blue penguins wash ashore in New Zealand. Photograph:( Twitter )

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These small but noisy birds with pale blue or indigo feathers eat anchovies and sardines. To catch prey, these birds dive to depths of up to 30 meters (about 100 feet). The rise in temperature of the water seems to have forced the small fish to move to colder waters too deep for these birds to reach, Taylor added

In recent weeks, the bodies of hundreds of little blue penguins seem to have washed up on the beaches of northern coast of New Zealand, as per conservationists. This has raised the fears of experts that climate change may be starving the birds, who are native to New Zealand, to death. The little blue penguins or kororā are "at-risk" of declining, as per Department of Conservation of the country. On the basis of initial lab results, malnutrition seems to be the cause of death for over 200 of the birds, said, Graeme Taylor, principal science adviser, Department of Conservation, New Zealand, who has been studying these sea birds.  

"The cause of the mortality event seems to be from failure to find sufficient food at sea and dying from starvation," Taylor told CNN.  

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The little blue penguins seem to be finding it harder to get food due to a marine heatwave in the northern waters of the country and the natural La Niña weather cycle conditions, Taylor said.   

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These small but noisy birds with pale blue or indigo feathers eat anchovies and sardines. To catch prey, these birds dive to depths of up to 30 meters (about 100 feet). The rise in temperature of the water seems to have forced the small fish to move to colder waters too deep for these birds to reach, Taylor added.   

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(With inputs from agencies) 

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