Ever wondered what 80000 pairs of penguins and their chicks look like? think no further... if you’re wondering what they smell or sound like, you’ll have to visit for yourself. quite incredible! #penguins#antarctica#polarexpress#exodustravels
Oh, you find it cold? ask our field biologist henri robert in #antarctica! he’s staying at the princess elisabeth station, where he carries out the very first bird population counts in the region! over the next four months, we will pass on the updates of henri. this is his first message.
nine years has passed since i first visited the belgian polar station princess elisabeth in antarctica’s sor rondane mountains (queen maud land). it was still being build then. nowadays, no tent village and container for facilities sheltered behind a granite ridge; the station is a fully operational and comfortable zero emission base.
upon arrival, the first two days were dedicated to a field training, rescue exercise in crevices, safety drill and scientific planning. from then, the work on the different study sites could start. the planning is ambitious: during one short season the objective is to monitor all breeding sites of snow petrel (pagodroma nivea) of the eastern sor rondane, perform a primary population estimate of the area and collect dna samples for the research project that focuses on the refuges and ecosystem tolerance to climate changes.
the snow petrel is my main target. it’s the most represented animal species of the inland queen maud land (the station and the colonies are located nearly 200 km from the coast). everyday with my guide, equipped with polar clothes, shoes studs and ice axe, i systematically survey the rocky slopes of each nunatak (exposed rock not covered with ice or snow) where petrels are known to breed. each nest is geo-referenced and the local population is estimated based on the number of occupied cavities.
working conditions have been favorable so far, only two days of storm and poor visibility. most of the time, however, the sun is shining in a clear blue sky and the wind remains relatively weak. temperature varies between -5°c and -20°c. stay tuned for more updates during my time here! #henrirobert#naturalsciencesbrussels#snowpetrel#climatechange#biology#princesselisabethstation
Time-lapse of an antarctic descent with myself and my buddy @jamesfchyde at vernadsky station, about 65 degrees south. the sea ice here had just broken up mere days before, the water was both incredibly clear and incredibly cold. my dive computer read 27 degrees, though 28 is more realistic. as we rolled back and headed down grease ice was forming on the surface! during this video check out how many times i have to add air to my dry suit, equalize my sinuses, check depth and air.. all to get to 60’. #yesitscolddownthere@fourthelementdive@natgeoexpeditions@scubapro