Scientists discovered this previously unknown "supercolony" of Adélie penguins on the Danger Islands, a set of remote, icy islands on the northeastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula, according to a study released Friday.
"Until recently, the Danger Islands weren't known to be an important penguin habitat", Lynch said in a statement. "Finally getting into the Danger Islands and counting the penguins shows how robust populations are where the ice is intact". But what type were they, and for what reason did they go there?
"The automaton gives you a chance to fly in a lattice over the island, taking pictures once every second".
Singh developed the drone's imaging and navigation system and plans to use the images from the drone, to look for penguin nests, using a neural network software.
What they found was incredible.
Researchers thought the overall Adélie penguin population had been in decline for decades, but they've now discovered a secret stash of the photogenic seabirds.More news: Eight Turkish soldiers killed, 13 wounded in Afrin operation in Syria: Army
The discovery cements the idea that climate change was behind the decline of penguin populations on the western side of the peninsula, Polito said. They called the area "a major hotspot of Adélie penguin abundance".
Scientists have considered populaces Adelie penguins were declining, a stressing advancement that they were endeavoring to get it. These supercolonies have gone undetected for quite a long time, she notes, incompletely in view of the remoteness of the islands themselves, and mostly the misleading waters that encompass them. The Danger Islands are surrounded by treacherous waters and are almost inaccessible in even the peak of summer, since the ocean nearby remains covered with thick sea ice.
It's another fantastic example how UAVs can help us better understand the world around us. That's because of breeding site "philopatry" or fidelity - individual Adelie penguins return to the location where they were born when they are mature, and then return to the same nest site in that area from then on.
"We want to understand why". On the eastern side, where sea ice has been more stable, the species has clearly thrived.
Polito said he and his graduate students are conducting similar studies of the relationship between wildlife and their surroundings, including food sources and human-caused changes in their availability, in studying species along the Louisiana Gulf Coast.
Researchers involved with the project said the drone technology has been key because it will provide insight on penguin dynamics and the effects of climate change.