Pinguino imperatore rischia l’estinzione in meno di un secolo

di Marco Mancini 55

Ve lo ricordate il pinguino imperatore, l’uccello dell’Antartide di un fortunato film-documentario di un paio di anni fa? Probabilmente quello sarà l’unico documento, o uno dei pochi, che i nostri nipoti potranno utilizzare per vedere com’era fatto uno degli animali più affascinanti al mondo.

Il pinguino Imperatore sta letteralmente perdendo il suo regno, e di conseguenza anche la sua vita. Nello scorso ottobre uno studio del WWF stimò che, se le temperature globali si elevassero di soli due gradi, il 50% degli Imperatori e il 75% dei pinguini Adelie morirebbero. La brutta notizia è che questa stima è sin troppo ottimista.

Secondo una ricerca pubblicata sul Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, il 95% dei pinguini Imperatore rischia seriamente di non esserci più entro il 2100. La causa resta sempre la stessa: i cambiamenti climatici. E dire che già oggi non è che siano così tanti. Infatti, secondo gli scienziati che seguono questi branchi il 95%, allo stato attuale, corrispondere a circa 600 coppie che vivono allo stato brado, quindi ovviamente escludendo quelle nei parchi marini che in un certo senso crescono protette e controllate.

La motivazione, secondo gli esperti, sta nelle abitudini del pinguino Imperatore. Infatti le coppie, durante l’inverno, sono solite separarsi per rifornirsi di cibo e proteggere i piccoli dai rigori delle temperature. Si spostano facendo lunghe passeggiate sul ghiaccio. Ed è proprio questo il motivo per cui rischiano l’estinzione. A causa delle temperature sempre più elevate, i ghiacci potrebbero sciogliersi, risultando delle trappole mortali per i genitori. Inoltre la quantità di terra ghiacciata influenza anche l’ammontare della quantità di pesce a loro disposizione. Con il ritiro dei ghiacciai questo potrebbe diminuire, rendendo sempre più difficile la pesca. Di conseguenza sarebbero di meno i pinguini adulti in grado di tornare al “nido”, e quindi verrebbero messi al mondo sempre meno figli, fino a causare un fenomeno molto vicino all’estinzione.

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