Overfishing and Global Warming Imperil Penguins – Happy Feet was right

emperor penguinsBy Stephen Leahy

Nov 30, 2006 (IPS) – Ice-loving penguins have never been more popular, but few people realise they are threatened with extinction from climate change and industrial fishing.

The loveable stars of the Hollywood movie “Happy Feet” and the stoic and courageous creatures featured in the popular documentary “March of the Penguins” are in trouble.

Of the world’s 19 penguin species, 12 are now so threatened they need special protection, according to the Centre for Biological Diversity (CBD), a California environmental group focused on species extinction.

Popularity doesn’t guarantee survival. But it might increase protection and prompt action on climate change, says Brendan Cummings, director of the CBD’s Oceans Programme.

Cummings’ organisation filed a formal petition this week requesting that 12 species of penguins worldwide, including the well-known Emperor Penguin, be added to the list of threatened and endangered species under the United States Endangered Species Act. Continue reading