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King Penguins

King Penguins

KING_PENGUIN_Falkland_IslandsWith 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).


 

Posted by on in King Penguins

We deployed SIRTRACK satellite tags during winter 2011 on eight breeding king penguins for periods of 32 – 124 days. King penguins stop feeding their chicks for up to 5 months over winter, which allows them to undertake extended foraging trips that often exceed 50 days. This season, two of the eight satellite tracked king penguins have undertaken remarkable foraging trips over winter.....1800km (round trip) to the Antarctic and back! Combined, the data set (see figure below) represents 733 tracking days and 10,000 at-sea locations.

Our conservation work builds upon previous research to highlight multiple foraging strategies over winter and a degree of foraging plasticity that is simply awesome.  The data is an important step towards identifying ecologically important areas at-sea; a goal of Falklands Conservation. We thank the WWF and the local land owners involved for sharing our passion in the conservation of marine biodiversity.

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Posted by on in King Penguins

King penguins are the second largest species of penguin (Emperor penguin being the largest). They breed on several subantarctic islands, including South Georgia - but the Falklands population is particularly special! This is because the Falkland Isands population is the most temperate breeding site of king penguins in the world.

Pistorius P, Baylis A, Crofts S, Putz K. (2012) Population development and historical occurrence of King penguins at the Falkland Islands. Antarctic Science.

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