The Mystery of the World’s Loneliest Penguins

some years ago, Researchers in Argentina’s southern city of Ushua observed some unexpected winter visitors. Martill Island, a spec of land in the Beagle Channel, regularly attracts tourist boats due to its photogenic colonies of Magellanic and Gentoo penguins. However, go today, and you might just be lucky enough to spot an outsider: a king penguin, who exits the channel from the island’s pebble beach, head and shoulders taller than Ganto and Magellanix Is approximately double the size of.

A handful of king penguins have been caught by camera traps on the islands, often roaming the Gentoo nesting grounds. King penguins can be found elsewhere in Patagonia, but have not been seen before on this island. How they got there, where they came from, or even how many there are is a mystery. “We don’t know anything about the king penguin of Martillo Island,” says Sami Dodino, a penguin expert at the Argentine Scientific Institute CADIC.

Ushuaia, located at the southern tip of Argentina, is known as “The End of the World”. Travel approximately 1000 km to the south and the next place you reach is Antarctica (though not before passing another colony on the Chilean side of the Beagle Channel, Pure Williams — “Beyond the End of the World”). Martillo Island has been home to magellanic penguins, small birds that are uncommon, they have dug in nests since the 1970s, and welcomed the gantos, a large species that reefs to build nests on the ground in the 1990s Collects When you imagine a penguin, the king penguin looks like you probably see in the first picture. The second largest species after the Emperor Penguin, they have distinctive orange “cheeks” and yellow-orange coloration at the top of their chests. Adults are elegant in stature, rats are strangely odd in their clichéd brownish scent.

Whether these some king penguins arrived at Martillo Island by accident or design is unknown. “Maybe it’s an accident,” says CADIC researcher Andrea Raya Ray. “They were wandering in the sea in search of food.” When it is time to moul, King Penguin sinks into the ashes of the head – usually returning to his original colony before returning to the sea. But in this case, he must have looked around, seen other species of penguins on Martillo Island, and landed there to change wings. Raya Ray says, “King penguins are really long-distance forests, so they expand their range.”

Researchers know from genetic testing that the Gentu colony on Martillo Island originated from people who came from the Falkland Islands; Now there are about 30 pairs. The same king may be true of penguin visitors. Alternatively, they may have arrived from Chile a few hundred kilometers north of Inuitil Bay; Formerly Staten Island; Or the island of South Georgia, which has a large king penguin colony in the Atlantic.

When king penguins were first seen in Martillo Island, researchers believe they may be juveniles, as they did not try to breed. But in the last few years, one pair has managed to lay an egg. Last year, for the first time, he successfully created a rat.

Sadly, this excitement did not last long, as Chick died a few weeks later. “We believe that was probably because we had a hot summer for Ushuaia,” says Dodino. Raya Ray states that the parents may have died of a cold in any case, as the parents were inexperienced and their small group was at a loss. Typically, King Penguin collects chicks for warmth in winter while their parents hunt for food; It doesn’t work with just one girl. “They are trying to start a new colony, but it is very difficult for just a few individuals,” she says.