"Our survey reveals that the Danger Islands host 751,527 pairs of Adélie penguins, more than the rest of AP region combined, and include the third and fourth largest Adélie penguin colonies in the world".
Scientists from Oxford University were part of an global team searching for images taken by the Landsat satellites to locate possible large numbers of penguin by identifying the mess they leave behind. "To a unsafe island hard to reach, so people actually tried to do it", - said in an interview with the BBC News team member Dr. Tom HART (Tom Hart) from the University of Oxford, UK.
The duo teamed with ecologists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and other universities in the USA and United Kingdom for an expedition in 2015. Where there are penguin droppings, there are most certainly penguins, and the stains, visible from space, suggested there were a large number of them. Nevertheless, the penguins that nest on the western side of the peninsula are protected by the effects of the climate changes, thanks to the Waddell Sea, which is an icy area, which is another contributor to the difficulty in accessing the islands.
However, this supercolony were found on the rocky and remote Danger Islands after NASA satellites picked up patches of their excrement, known as guano, in 2014. Scientists in Antarctica have recently found a massive supercolony of penguins off of the coast of Antarctica, using drones.
Scientists, including one LSU Professor, discovered a super-colony of more than one and a half million penguins during an expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula.
"The drone lets you fly in a grid over the island, taking pictures once per second".
That's promising news for a species whose numbers have been steadily declining over four decades amid rising temperatures and melting sea ice on the western side of the Antarctic peninsula. Co-author Heather Lynch of Stony Brook University said. "Food availability? That's something we don't know". He also designed algorithms to scan the collected images and identify the location of penguin nesting sites.
In December 2015 a team of 10 scientists made the treacherous journey to the Danger Islands, on the edge of the Weddell Sea's oceanic vortex of sea ice. The authors note the importance of protecting the area under projected climate change.
"The sheer size of what we were looking at took our breath away", one of the researchers with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Dr.