Intra-seasonal variation in foraging behavior among Adélie penguins (Pygocelis adeliae) breeding at Cape Hallett, Ross Sea, Antarctica

Polar Biology
By: , and 

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Abstract

We investigated intra-seasonal variation in foraging behavior of chick-rearing Adélie penguins,Pygoscelis adeliae, during two consecutive summers at Cape Hallett, northwestern Ross Sea. Although foraging behavior of this species has been extensively studied throughout the broad continental shelf region of the Ross Sea, this is the first study to report foraging behaviors and habitat affiliations among birds occupying continental slope waters. Continental slope habitat supports the greatest abundances of this species throughout its range, but we lack information about how intra-specific competition for prey might affect foraging and at-sea distribution and how these attributes compare with previous Ross Sea studies. Foraging trips increased in both distance and duration as breeding advanced from guard to crèche stage, but foraging dive depth, dive rates, and vertical dive distances travelled per hour decreased. Consistent with previous studies within slope habitats elsewhere in Antarctic waters, Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) dominated chick meal composition, but fish increased four-fold from guard to crèche stages. Foraging-, focal-, and core areas all doubled during the crèche stage as individuals shifted distribution in a southeasterly direction away from the coast while simultaneously becoming more widely dispersed (i.e., less spatial overlap among individuals). Intra-specific competition for prey among Adélie penguins appears to influence foraging behavior of this species, even in food webs dominated by Antarctic krill.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Intra-seasonal variation in foraging behavior among Adélie penguins (Pygocelis adeliae) breeding at Cape Hallett, Ross Sea, Antarctica
Series title Polar Biology
DOI 10.1007/s00300-010-0858-0
Volume 34
Issue 1
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher Springer
Description 19 p.
First page 49
Last page 67
Other Geospatial Cape Hallett, Ross Sea, Antarctica
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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