As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Macaroni penguin populations under threat from other seabirds

The greatest threat to declining macaroni penguin numbers in the South Atlantic island of South Georgia, have been found to be the seabird giant petrels who prey on the chicks and fledglings
Led by researchers from the British Antarctic Survey, the team of scientists been fitting tiny electronic tags to adult and fledgling macaroni penguin since 2003. Then, using an electronic scanner placed at the entrance to their colony, they have been recording each bird’s identification number as it came and went, over a period of ten consecutive breeding seasons 

Lead author Catharine Horswill, from BAS, says:

“Penguins are facing rapid changes in their environment, but at South Georgia, in the southwest Atlantic, we found compelling evidence that predators are the most important factor influencing the survival of chicks as they leave the colony for the first time. This is a big leap forward as we had no idea that predation could be such a strong driving force. Knowing what drives survival rates of penguins puts us in a much better place to predict how these populations may change in the future.”

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