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Penguin numbers declining, biologists say

BOSTON, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Penguin species around the world continue to experience serious population declines, and some could face extinction this century, U.S. biologists warn.

They joined other biologists, government officials, conservation advocates and zoo and aquarium professionals from 22 nations in an International Penguin Conference in Boston, ScienceDaily.com reported Thursday.

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Climate change, overfishing, chronic oil pollution and predation by introduced mammals are among the major factors cited in the decline of 10 of the world's 18 penguin species, researchers say.

Penguins are found exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere with a single species on the Galapagos Islands at the Equator.

Antarctic penguin species are the most well-known to the public, but other species also live in South America, southern Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and on the many sub-antarctic islands.

Throughout their ranges, nearly all penguin species are in significant decline or under duress due to a host of common factors, biologists say.

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