Emperor penguins are very sociable creatures and live in colonies of anything from five hundred to twenty thousand pairs of penguins. It is very rare to find an emperor penguin living outside Antarctica. 


Emperor Penguins and Humans

Until the late 20th century humans hunted penguins for their fat which was used to produce oil. Being the largest of the seventeen species, the emperor penguin was particularly targeted. However, the only creatures that hunt this penguin now are the leopard seal and the killer whale.

The Emperor penguin has been classified as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List. This means that the penguin's population is in danger or becoming threatened by extinction.  Their current population is marked as stable but their threat is climate change and there is some uncertainty on how the penguins will survive and cope through changing habitat conditions and climate.

The threat of climate change is down to decreases in the amount of sea ice available for colonies, as well as the sea ice's concentration and thickness.  Disturbance is also a threat in a few areas due to nearby scientific bases and the movement of aircrafts.

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