Torgersen Island

Antarctic Peninsula

The Adélie rookery just offshore is often visited in conjunction with Palmer Station. Since 1974, however, the Adélie population here has dropped by 60% to fewer than 3300 pairs, due to climate-induced changes in sea ice and snowfall.

At Litchfield Island, just west of Torgersen, the Adélies are already gone. The rookery had been monitored since 1974, when there were about a thousand breeding pairs. Paleoecological evidence indicates that the penguins had been breeding there for at least 600 years, with up to 15,000 pairs nesting on the island each year. By November 2007 there were no more.