Even After Years of War, Wildlife Find a Way to Survive

The Falkland Islands have been a center of past dispute. Today those islands support hundreds of birds and offer nature a place to flourish.

The Falkland Islands comprise a resilient archipelago east of South America’s southern Patagonia coast. On a recent trip, National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen commented that he’s “rarely encountered such an intact ecosystem in almost three decades.”

This has not always been the case for these islands. They are best known for an intricate history of land disputes leading even to war. The last conflict was in 1982 when Argentina invaded the islands, which led to an intense altercation with the United Kingdom. There are still 20,000 land mines unaccounted for, decimated helicopters strewn across the land, and an active airfield. However, nature is very resilient and the Falklands archipelago is proof of that.

The region is now a haven for many unique birds, especially seabirds. The Vulnerable Southern Rockhopper Penguin thrives here, with thirty-six percent of its global population located on the islands. Wildlife are prospering, but there are still man-made threats such as habitat degradation, oil spills, fishing hooks, pollution, and the most notable,climate change. Check out spectacular footage of these tiny islands in this video.

Source: National Geographic 

Featured photo: Southern Rockhopper Penguins on Saunders Island. Credit: Liam Quinn

About Noelle Duerwald

Noelle is an undergraduate student at the University of California, Santa Cruz studying Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She fell in love with the ocean when she was a child on her grandpa's sailboat. Ever since she has had a passion for conservation and protecting endangered species. She is thrilled to support Island Conservation in its mission of preventing extinctions as a volunteer for the Communications and Science departments. In her free time Noelle enjoys cooking, hiking, and scuba diving in the kelp forests of Monterey Bay.

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