New Penguin Colony Discovered in Antarctica


Pictured here, chinstrap penguins in Antarctica (not on Diaz Rock). Photo credit Dr. Grant Humphries.
Pictured here, chinstrap penguins in Antarctica (not on Diaz Rock). Photo credit Dr. Grant Humphries.
In a scientific breakthrough, Viking has announced the discovery of a previously unknown colony of chinstrap penguins on Diaz Rock, near Astrolabe Island, in Antarctica.

The significant finding was discovered during a voyage of the Viking Octantis in January 2024.

Astrolabe Island is a remote three-mile-long island located in the Bransfield Strait of the Trinity Peninsula. The island has long been home to a known colony of chinstrap penguins.

However, this particular colony had not been surveyed since 1987.

Chinstrap penguins, Diaz Rock
Astrolabe Island with Diaz Rock in the distance. Photo credit Hayley Charleton-Howard.

During the recent visit by the Viking Octantis, a visual and thermal aerial survey was conducted.

The survey not only documented the first comprehensive survey of the known chinstrap penguin colony but also led to the discovery of an additional colony on Diaz Rock.

Collaboration leads to unique discovery

The survey was conducted in collaboration with Viking’s scientific partner Oceanites, a leading field research entity in Antarctic penguin monitoring, 

Oceanites has been at the forefront of Antarctic penguin monitoring for three decades. Dr. Grant Humphries, Director of Science at Oceanites, expressed gratitude for the partnership with Viking. He highlighted the importance of this work in understanding Antarctic penguin population dynamics.

Dr. Damon Stanwell-Smith, Head of Science and Sustainability at Viking, praised the collaboration with Oceanites. He expressed the eagerness to continue bringing forward groundbreaking findings in the future.

Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking, expressed his pleasure at supporting such a significant scientific development. The finding emphasised Viking’s dedication to providing guests and scientists with opportunities for meaningful discovery. He noted the importance of partnerships with prestigious institutions in achieving these goals and expressed anticipation for future research opportunities on Viking’s expeditions.

The discovery of the new chinstrap penguin colony stands as a testament to the ongoing efforts of Viking and its partners to unravel the mysteries of Antarctica’s unique ecosystems and contribute to global scientific knowledge.


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