Polar Biology

, Volume 30, Issue 10, pp 1231–1237 | Cite as

The winter distribution of chinstrap penguins from two breeding sites in the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica

  • Wayne Z. Trivelpiece
  • Stacey Buckelew
  • Christian Reiss
  • Susan G. Trivelpiece
Original Paper


Satellite telemetry was used to determine the winter movements of eight chinstrap penguins from two breeding colonies in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica during the 2000 and 2004 austral winters. Chinstrap penguins foraged largely inshore, on the shelf, north of the South Shetland Islands during 2000, but foraged mainly offshore in pelagic waters in 2004. Analyses of foraging trip durations during the chick-rearing periods that preceded the 2000 and 2004 winters suggest that prey were more abundant inshore during the summer of 2000 than in 2004. Oceanographic data further revealed the presence of a strong shelf-slope front in 2000 that was absent in 2004. In addition, two of the six chinstrap penguins from the colony in Admiralty Bay migrated from the South Shetland Islands region to the vicinity of the South Orkney and South Sandwich Islands, distances of 800 and 1,300 km, respectively. We postulate that the differences in winter migratory behavior among chinstrap penguins from this colony may reflect individual ties to different ancestral epicenters of chinstrap populations; one older and local in the South Shetland Islands and one relatively recent, arising from the emigration of chinstrap penguins that occurred during the expansion of this species in the mid-1900s.


Chinstrap penguin Winter migration 



Funding was provided by the NSF Office of Polar Programs, Grant Nos. 1016936 and 0443751; from the NMFS, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, and from the Lenfest Ocean Program of the Pew Charitable Trusts. We thank T. Carten, M. Polito, L. Shill, K. Salwicka and M. Taft for assistance with the satellite tag deployments and R. Cosgrove and E. Danner for GIS assistance. This is contribution number 2231 of the SWFSC, Antarctic Ecosystem Research Division, La Jolla, CA, USA.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wayne Z. Trivelpiece
    • 1
  • Stacey Buckelew
    • 1
  • Christian Reiss
    • 1
  • Susan G. Trivelpiece
    • 1
  1. 1.Antarctic Ecosystem Research DivisionSouthwest Fisheries Science CenterLa JollaUSA

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