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Emperor Penguins Conservation

Emperor Penguin

Emperor penguins cannot survive in isolation. To incubate during the rigors of the harsh Antarctic winter and to safeguard their chicks through summer snowstorms, there is security, safety and success in numbers.


Legal protection for penguins was non- existent until the nineteenth century and not until the early 1900s was it begun in earnest. In 1905 the International Ornithological Congress in London passed a resolution urging the governments of Australia and New Zealand to put an end to destruction of penguins, which were being boiled for their oil. South Georgia penguins were protected from 1909. In the Falkland Islands, where penguins had enjoyed a measure of protection since 1864, all penguins were protected by 1914. In 1919, the Tasmamian government stopped all licenses to exploit penguins on Macquarie Island and it was proclaimed a sanctuary.

In 1924 the French declared the Kerguelen Islands a National Park. But it was 1959 before a major conference of nations; twelve altogether, signed the Antarctic Treaty, agreeing on the need to protect Antarctica from despoilment and to conserve its living resources. Eventually it is hoped that Antarctica will become an international wildlife reserve, and that all penguins everywhere will get the protection they have so dearly earned.

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