The Gentoo penguin population in the Falklands also varies greatly (1,2). Whether this variation has natural causes or is human-induced, is open to debate (3). Studies on the breeding biology of Gentoos in the Falklands have shown only marginal differences when compared with their conspecifics living at the Antarctic Peninsula and the Indian Ocean (4). Unlike all other penguin species, Gentoos stay close to the coast throughout the year and regularly return ashore. Thus, they are under permanent threat from human activities both on land and at sea (5).
Currently, we are investigating a small, recently established Gentoo Penguin colony on Isla Martillo in the Beagle Channel, Argentina, with regard to inter-specific competition to other seabird species.
- (1) Pütz, K., R.J. Ingham, J.G. Smith & J.P. Croxall (2001) Population trends, breeding success and diet composition of gentoo Pygoscelis papua, magellanic Spheniscus magellanicus and rockhopper Eudyptes chrysocome penguins in the Falkland Islands. Polar Biology 24: 793-807
- (2) Clausen, A.P. & K. Pütz (2002) Recent trends in diet composition and productivity of Gentoo, Magellanic and Rockhopper Penguins in the Falkland Islands. Aquatic Conservation 12: 51-61
- (3) Trathan, P.N., P. García-Borboroglu, P.D. Boersma, C.A. Bost, R.J.M. Crawford, G.T. Crossin, R.J. Cuthbert, P. Dann, L.S. Davis, S. de la Puente, U. Ellenberg, H.J. Lynch, T. Mattern, K. Pütz, P.J. Seddon, W. Trivelpiece & B. Wienecke (2014) Pollution, habitat loss, fishing and climate change as critical threats to penguins. Conservation Biology DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12349
- (4) Otley, H.M., A.P. Clausen, D.J. Christie & K. Pütz (2004) Aspects of the breeding biology of Gentoo Penguins (Pygoscelis papua) at Volunteer Beach, Falkland Islands, 2001/02. Marine Ornithology 32: 167-171
- (5) Clausen, A.P. & K. Pütz (2003) Winter diet and foraging range of gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis papua) from Kidney Cove, Falkland Islands. Polar Biology 26: 32-40