French researchers have found that over the past 50 years, the population of emperor penguins ( Aptenodytes forsteri ) in Terre Adelie, which was stable until the mid-1970s, had declined abruptly by 50 per cent in the late 1970s and has stablised since. The researchers say that the penguin population declined because there was a prolonged abnormally warm period with reduced sea ice ( Nature , 10 May, 2001).
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