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Antarctica study shows iceberg nearly erases penguin population

Gentoo penguins stand on rocks near the Chilean station Bernardo O'Higgins, Antarctica. A scientific study released in Feb. 2016 says an estimated 150,000 Adelie penguins have died in Cape Denison, Antarctica in the five years since a giant iceberg blocked their main access to food. .
Gentoo penguins stand on rocks near the Chilean station Bernardo O'Higgins, Antarctica. A scientific study released in Feb. 2016 says an estimated 150,000 Adelie penguins have died in Cape Denison, Antarctica in the five years since a giant iceberg blocked their main access to food. . AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko

SANTIAGO, Chile – A new scientific study says an estimated 150,000 Adelie penguins have died in Cape Denison, Antarctica in the five years since a giant iceberg blocked their main access to food.

The research was recently published in the journal Antarctic Science.

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It says a 97-kilometre-wide iceberg crashed and got stuck in Commonwealth Bay, blocking access to their natural feeding areas starting in December 2010. The huge piece of ice forced the birds to walk more than 60 kilometres in search of food, gradually reducing the population to just a few thousand.

The survey was conducted in 2013-14 by scientists at The Climate Change Research Center at the University of New South Wales in Australia and New Zealand’s West Coast Penguin Trust.

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