Antarctica Penguins – level 3
Penguin populations in parts of the Antarctic are declining. Independent researchers accompanied Greenpeace on a recent expedition, and the researchers reported that some colonies have declined by more than 75% in the last 50 years.
Researchers believe that the underlying cause of the decline is climate change. Penguins are losing their main food source, krill, because ocean temperatures are rising, and sea ice is melting. The decline is very serious, with a 77% drop recorded in Chinstrap penguin colony since the last survey in 1971.
This data suggests that the ecosystem in the region has dramatically changed and the changes affect the food chain.
Difficult words: underlying (basic), krill (very small animals with a hard shell that live in the sea and are eaten by large fish and seabirds), colony (a group of animals such as penguins), ecosystem (all the living things in an area and the way they affect each other and the environment).
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