, Volume 35, Issue 9, pp 1289-1296
Date: 20 Mar 2012

Emperor penguins at the West Ice Shelf

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Abstract

In 1956, an emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) colony had been reported during an aerial survey north of the north-western protrusion of the West Ice Shelf in East Antarctica. About 15,000 birds were estimated to be present. The region often has very heavy pack ice conditions hindering access by vessels. In the summers of 2009–2011, we surveyed the area from the air and sighted two emperor penguin colonies. One was situated on top of the ice shelf and comprised 342 adults and 1,156 chicks. The second colony was seen near the northern edge of the West Ice Shelf on the sea ice about 60 km farther south than in 1956. There were at least 1,498 adults and 3,436 chicks.