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By: Mia Bordwin 

In the world we live in today, climate change is a very big issue that is not being addressed to the point that it should. Because of global warming, the ice on the sea that the penguins rely on is melting. The ESA or Endangered Species Act, as well as the US Fish and Wildlife Service have announced that they are at serious risk of becoming extinct and new measures need to be taken to protect them. Emperor Penguins rely on sea ice to not only avoid predators while hunting for food, but also to be able to breed more generations. With the melting that has already occurred, and is continuing to occur, the chances of penguin colonies dying out or even declining in population has increased. What scientists are most worried about is what will happen if the Emperor penguins start dying down. They play a big role in their ecosystems food chain, meaning there may be too many fish or other animals that were once prey of the penguins, as well as it leaves the penguins predators lacking a major source of food. Over the next 30 years, it is predicted that the Emperor penguins population will decrease over 20%. In many ways, the threats of extinction to these penguins are the same to that of polar bears who were once and still are technically at threat of extinction. However, the ESA has taken precautions to limit the chances of this occurring. In a similar fashion, many researchers have begun tagging penguin chicks and tracking them as part of the MARE project, which is a project focusing on protecting the Emperor penguin population in an effort to keep the ecosystem around it alive and well. It is important that we address this issue now before climate change causes anymore threats to extinction.