A Large Breeding Colony Of Penguins On The Falkland Islands Thrives Thanks To?
Answer: Land Mines
How do you protect a colony of penguins? Well, you could go the traditional route and set up international agreements to protect an area they breed in. You could also start a charity and set up a land conservancy group dedicated to protecting their habitat or raising awareness about their plight. Or, if you’re a fan of roundabout non-traditional solutions, you could start an international conflict that results in their breeding area becoming heavily seeded with land mines dangerous (and sensitive) enough to keep out everyone but the penguins.
That’s exactly what happened in the case of the Falklands War of 1982 and the conflict that unfolded on the Falkland Islands. During the war, the Argentinian forces heavily mined the areas surrounding Port Stanley Airport to such a degree that the beaches will likely remain off-limits indefinitely, off-limits that is, to everyone but the rather adorable Magellanic penguins. Despite the portly appearance of their little penguin bodies, the birds are quite light (weighing between 6-15 pounds) and lack the mass to trigger the land mines. With no risk of incursion from humans or large predators, the penguins have been thriving there ever since.
Image courtesy of Martin St-Armant.