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Seabird ticks (Ixodes uriae) distribution along the Antarctic Peninsula

Abstract

The distribution of the tick Ixodes uriae is studied in the South Shetlands and different locations along the Antarctic Peninsula. Ticks were found beneath stones close to penguin rookeries of chinstrap, gentoo and adelie penguin, although no individuals were found parasitized. Our results showed that ticks are not distributed evenly along the Antarctic Peninsula being more common and abundant in the northern part with relative abundances of ticks ranging from 1 to 57 individuals per stone and from 2 to 26% of the stone inspected. Ticks are probably absent in the south.

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Acknowledgments

This study was funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation projects CGL2004-01348, POL2006-05175, POL2006-06635, CGL2007-60369 and by the European Regional Development Fund. MJP was supported by a PhD grant from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (BES2005-8465). VV was supported by a PhD grant from the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (JAEPre08-01053). We thank the Spanish Antarctic base “Gabriel de Castilla”, the Argentinean Antarctic base “Teniente Jubany”, the Spanish polar ship “Las Palmas” and the Maritime Logistic Unit (CSIC) for logistic support and transport. Permission to work in the study area was given by the Spanish Polar Committee. This is a contribution to the International Polar Year project 172 BIRDHEALTH and to PINGUCLIM project. We thank an anonymous referee for helpful suggestions on an early version of this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Andrés Barbosa.

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Barbosa, A., Benzal, J., Vidal, V. et al. Seabird ticks (Ixodes uriae) distribution along the Antarctic Peninsula. Polar Biol 34, 1621–1624 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00300-011-1000-7

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Keywords

  • Antarctic Peninsula
  • Distribution
  • Ixodes uriae
  • Penguins
  • Ticks
  • South Shetlands