By Amy Duncan
What is The Antarctic Treaty?
In 1959, the United States and 11 other countries signed The Antarctic Treaty to make it illegal to hunt penguins or to disturb their eggs or nests in any way.
Since 1959, 41 other countries have signed The Antarctic Treaty as well.
The treaty was necessary because hunters were slaughtering penguins at alarming rates to harvest the oil in their tails in the 1800s. In 1867, one oil company slaughtered more than 400,000 penguins on the Falkland Islands. To make sure that penguins didn’t become extinct, The Antarctic Treaty was created and is now adhered to by 53 countries.
Some countries from Asia, notably a Japanese firm that wanted to hunt penguins to make expensive golf gloves, have lobbied for rights to hunt and harvest penguins, but officials with The Antarctic Treaty rejected their application.
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