Polar Biology

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 221–225 | Cite as

Satellite telemetry of the winter migration of Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae)

  • Lloyd S. Davis
  • P. Dee Boersma
  • Gordon S. Court
Original Paper

Abstract

Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae), after breeding in Antarctica during the austral summer, undergo a winter migration before returning to the breeding grounds 8 months later. It is the major source of adult mortality, with about a quarter of them not returning. Here we describe the first attempt to track the winter migration of Adélie penguins using satellite telemetry. Transmitters were attached to two penguins on 16 February 1991 after their post-breeding moult at Cape Bird, Ross Island, Antarctica. Transmissions were received from one penguin (bird #1) for 4.4 months, during which time it travelled 2792.6 km from the rookery (nearly 1500 km straight-line distance). Transmissions were received from the other penguin (bird #2) for 2.5 months during which time it followed a path remarkably similar to that of bird #1. The penguins travelled northwards up the coast of Victoria Land, keeping within 100 km of the coast, rounding Cape Adare soon after 29 March and were midway between the Balleny Islands and the Antarctic coast on 3 May. Thereafter, the record from bird #1 shows that it travelled further westwards until, when opposite the Mastusevich Glacier Tongue of the Mastusevich Glacier, it turned due north and moved away from the coast. By 29 June, when transmissions ended, its progression had slowed and it was northwest of the Balleny Islands near a zone where pack ice covered 75% of the surface of the sea. Two novel points that arise from this study are: (1) that Adélie penguins from Cape Bird undergo winter migrations of not less than 5000 km, and (2) that they may be travelling to common overwinter feeding grounds.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Ainley DG, DeMaster DP (1980) Survival and mortality in a population of Adélie penguins. Ecology 61:522–530Google Scholar
  2. Ainley DG, Emison WB (1972) Sexual size dimorphism in Adélie penguins. Ibis 114:267–271Google Scholar
  3. Ainley DG, LeResche RE, Sladen WJL (1983) Breeding biology of the Adélie penguin. University of California, Los AngelesGoogle Scholar
  4. Ainley DG, O'Connor EF, Boekelheide RJ (1984) The marine ecology of birds in the Ross Sea, Antarctica. Am Ornithol Monogr 32:1–97Google Scholar
  5. Ancel A, Kooyman GL, Ponganis PJ, Gendner J-P, Lignon J, Mestre X, Huin N, Thorson PH, Robisson P, Le Maho Y (1992) Foraging behaviour of Emperor penguins as a resource detector in winter and summer. Nature 360:336–339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Anonymous (1989) Guide to the Argos system. CLS/Service Argos, ToulouseGoogle Scholar
  7. Clarke J, Kerry K (1994) The effects of monitoring procedures on Adélie penguins. CCAMLR Sci 1:155–164Google Scholar
  8. Culik BM, Wilson RP (1991) Swimming energetics and performance of instrumented Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae). J Exp Biol 158:355–368Google Scholar
  9. Culik BM, Wilson RP (1992) Field metabolic rates of instrumented Adélie penguins using double-labelled water. J Comp Physiol B 162:567–573CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Culik BM, Bannasch R, Wilson RP (1994) External devices on penguins: how important is shape? Mar Biol 118:353–357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Davis LS (1988) Co-ordination of incubation routines and mate choice in Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae). Auk 105:428–432Google Scholar
  12. Davis LS (1991) Mate choice and sexual dimorphism in penguins. In: Bell BD, Cossee RD, Flux JEL, Heather BD, Hitchmough RA, Robertson CJR, Williams MJ (eds) Acta XX Congressus Internationalis Ornithologici. Ornithological Congress Trust Board, Wellington, New Zealand, pp 1352–1360Google Scholar
  13. Davis LS, McCaffrey FT (1986) Survival analysis of eggs and chicks of Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae). Auk 103:379–388Google Scholar
  14. Davis LS, Miller GD (1992) Satellite tracking of Adélie penguins. Polar Biol 12:503–506CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fraser WR, Trivelpiece WZ, Ainley DG, Trivelpiece SG (1992) Increase in Antarctic penguin populations: reduced competition with whales or a loss of sea ice due to environmental warming? Polar Biol 11:525–531CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Jouventin P, Capdeville D, Cuenot-Chaillet F, Boiteau C (1994) Exploitation of pelagic resources by a non-flying seabird: satellite tracking of the King penguin throughout the breeding cycle. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 106:11–19Google Scholar
  17. Kerry KR, Agnew DJ, Clarke JR, Else GD (1992) Use of morphometric parameters for the determination of sex of Adélie penguins. Wildl Res 19:657–664CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Penney RL (1967) Molt in the Adélie penguin. Auk 84:61–71Google Scholar
  19. Penney RL (1968) Territorial and social behavior in the Adélie penguin. In: Austin OL Jr (ed) Antarctic bird studies. (Antarctic Research Series, vol 12) American Geophysical Union, Washington, D.C. pp 83–131Google Scholar
  20. Penney RL, Emlen JT (1967) Further experiments on distance navigation in the Adélie penguinPygoscelis adeliae. Ibis 109: 99–109Google Scholar
  21. Prince PA, Wood AG, Barton T, Croxall JP (1992) Satellite tracking of wandering albatrosses (Diomedea exulans) in the South Atlantic. Antarct Sci 4:31–36Google Scholar
  22. Spurr EB (1975) Breeding of the Adélie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) at Cape Bird. Ibis 117:324–338Google Scholar
  23. Trivelpiece WZ, Trivelpiece SG (1990) Courtship period of Adélie, gentoo and chinstrap penguins. In: Davis LS and Darby JT (eds) Penguin biology. Academic Press, San Diego, pp 113–127Google Scholar
  24. Wilson RP, Culik BM (1992) Packages on penguins and deviceinduced data. In: Priede JG and Swift SM (eds) Wildlife telemetry: remote monitoring and tracking of animals. Ellis Horwood, New York, pp 573–580Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lloyd S. Davis
    • 1
  • P. Dee Boersma
    • 2
  • Gordon S. Court
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

Personalised recommendations