Emperor Penguins Could be Listed as Endangered Species

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has proposed to list the emperor penguin as ‘threatened’ under the Endangered Species Act to protect it from the threats of melting sea ice in a changing climate. ‘The decisions made by policymakers today and during the next few decades will determine the fate of the emperor penguin,’ said FWS Principal Deputy Director Martha Williams.

The proposal coincides with the publication of a study in the journal Global Change Biology that examined the impact of climate change on the species. The study determined that by 2050, regardless of any changes to emissions, ‘the emperor penguin will be in danger of extinction throughout a significant portion of its range.’ It’s thought that if existing policies and trends continue without cuts to emissions, the species faces extinction throughout its entire range.

A threatened designation would allow the FWS to issue regulations necessary to conserve the species while there is still time to act. The FWS is asking for public comment on the proposed rule and will consider comments submitted by October 3. Comments can be submitted by visiting: go.nowth.is/threatened-penguin.