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Just two Adelie penguin chicks survived this year's breeding season

Scores of Adelie penguins at Brown Bluff on the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. Photo: Brian Witte / AP

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) will introduce a proposal to set up a Marine Protection Area (MPA) to help the Adelie penguin colony in east Antarctica after all but two chicks starved to death this breeding season, according to the BBC.

The problem: Because extensive ice in the region lasted late into the breeding season, adults in the colony of 36,000 had to travel further than usual to find food for the chicks.

"The region is impacted by environmental changes that are linked to the breakup of the Mertz glacier since 2010," Yan Ropert-Coudert from France's National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) said in a statement. "An [Marine Protection Area] will not remedy these changes but it could prevent further impacts that direct anthropogenic pressures, such as tourism and proposed fisheries, could bring."

The proposal: A marine protection area in which krill fishing would be banned in order to reduce the penguins' competition for their food. It will be raised on Monday at a meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).

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