In a dispatch from Antarctica’s McMurdo Station, Mongabay friend Dr. Michelle LaRue discusses her sixth deployment to the icy continent to document emperor penguin populations, a species that is an important indicator of the Southern Ocean’s health. Skype was down at the station so we spoke with her by phone about what she is looking for and what it's like to work in Antarctica. LaRue and team fly in helicopters and planes to make high-res photos of penguin colonies which allow them to verify the population size, though a general lack of favorable conditions for flying is a daily obstacle.
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