The Falkland Islands Seabird Monitoring Programme has been around, in one form or another, for 26 years. Today, it is an annual event visiting a number of sites around the Falkland Islands to count penguins, albatrosses and petrels. The Programme provides estimates of trends in the numbers of breeding pairs, as well as breeding success, and is critical in understanding what is happening to a number of the globally significant seabird populations supported by the Islands.
With the help of the WWF, Falklands Conservation is working toward identifying the critical foraging habitats of Falkland Islands key marine predators. We hope that uncovering these foraging 'hot spots' will ultimately lead to enhanced protection for the amazing marine biodiversity that the Falkland Islands hold.
One key predator that is helping us to uncover foraging hot spots, is the king penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus).
Our philosophy with wildlife is to let nature take its course and not to disturb. However when man-made threats (such as oil pollution or marine debris) impact on wildlife we have the moral responsibility to step in and reduce the impacts to the best of our ability.
One of the best loved penguin species in the Falklands – the charismatic rockhopper penguin is our logo at Falklands Conservation and our flagship species. However this little penguin faces a “rocky” road ahead, as populations plummeted over the last century, causing global concerns for its future survival.
The Falklands population of southern sea lions (Otaria flavescens) has declined by an unprecedented 97% - from an estimated 80,000 pups in 1938 to just 2,000 pups in 1995.
Lets just run over that again - that is a staggering 97% decline in what was the largest southern sea lion population in the world!
Despite a halt to sealing in the 1960’s the population continued to decline into the mid 90s. While some sea lion colonies have since increased substantially, colonies at several sites remain stable or have even declined, prompting Dr Alastair Baylis (Falklands Conservation) and Dr Iain Staniland (British Antarctic Survey) to initiate the Darwin Southern Sea Lion Programme.
Project Officer: Dr Alastair Baylis