"The overall population of the species will reduce rapidly over the coming decades," researcher Peter T. Fretwell told Newsweek.
Sixty little penguins have been found with their heads missing on a beach, while around 20 gannets have been discovered nearby covered in puncture marks.
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Footage showing the Kororā penguin's extremely lucky escape was released by the tour group Blue Penguins Pukekura.
In some areas there were up to 15 mummified penguins per square yard.
"It's an incredibly sad day for his care team and for everyone who spent time with this amazing bird," one of the penguin's caretakers said.
Scientists from Denmark were studying a king penguin colony to assess its impact on greenhouse gas emissions.
Penguins drive fish to the surface, enabling other seabirds to pick off their prey.
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"It undoes all our hard work and proves once again that we are using plastic with our eyes closed," author Martin Dorey said.
The chick has waddled into the history books.
The king penguin couple may have felt the parents of the chick were neglecting their offspring.
The small birds are turning up on beaches dead or starving in an unusually large mass death.
The first member of the flock to spy the recording object goes in for a close-up, before a friend tries to hijack his spot.
The penguin had recently been rejected by his partner of 10 years.
The Long Island Aquarium's Pam, Angela, Fuzz and Sheldon "seem to like it, they don't get bitey."