Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Adelie penguins are often good indicators of climate change. Adelie penguins are beginning to inhabit beaches that were previously perenially covered in ice, suggesting warming of Antarctic environments. Adelie penguin colonies are highlights for ecotourism in the Antarctic. From the eighteenth to the early twentieth century these penguins were used for food, oil, and bait. Their guano was mined and used as fertilizer. Now they are a protected species in most countries. (Ainley, 2002; Glausiusz, 2007; Grossman, 2003)
Positive Impacts: food; body parts are source of valuable material; ecotourism; research and education; produces fertilizer
- Ainley, D. 2002. The Adelie Penguin: Bellwether of Climate Change. New York: Columbia University Press.
- Glausiusz, J. 2007. The Beacon Bird of Climate Change. Discover, 28.4: 14.
- Grossman, D. 2003. On thin ice: Adelie penguins are proving to be Antarctica's most sensitive indicators of climate shifts. Their falling population portends a multitude of changes that will reverberate throughout the region. Audubon, 105.4: 78-83.