penguins pining away

Penguins and post-El Niño stress disorder. It seems that Galápagos penguin may suffer from post-El Niño stress disorder.

After the strong El Niño events of 1982?83 and 1997?98 populations declined by more than 60%, according to F. Hernán Vargas of the University of Oxford and colleagues.

They also looked at what this means for the future of the species and found a 30% chance it will disappear entirely within 100 years, if El Niño events keep happening with the same frequency.

If, however, the frequency increases, as predicted by some climatologists, the risk becomes greater. A doubling of the strong events leads to an 80% of extinction within 100 years.

New Scientist, 31 Aug 2007