A recent spate of penguin deaths on the fringe of Abel
Tasman National Park has led to a campaign to protect them from domestic
A blue penguin in a nesting box - the boxes, and training for dogs, are among possible protection measures. Photo: PHOTO NZ
At least eight blue penguins were killed in suspected dog attacks near Little Kaiteriteri earlier this month.
The local community has now stepped up its efforts to look after the
protected species and the Department of Conservation's Motueka ranger,
Al Check, said a range of initiatives was in place.
"Penguin nesting boxes, and we're just looking at putting some more
signs and things in there. We have a local lady who we've trained up to
deliver penguin aversion training, so that's slightly different than our
standard kiwi and weka."
Mr Check said owners needed to take responsibilty for their pets' actions and do all they could to look after wildlife.
Under the Dog Control Act 1996, the owner of any dog that attacks
protected wildlife is liable on conviction to a hefty fine or even
The proposed Mangles Bay marina development, south of Perth, could further erode the little penguins' habitats, an expert says.
Belinda Cannell of Murdoch University has been studying the little
penguin colonies on Garden and Penguin Islands, off the coast of
Rockingham, for 20 years.
The conservation biologist believes the
planned marina, which would accommodate up to 500 boat pens and a
residential and tourism development, could further impact the penguins'
"We don't have penguin colonies any further north in WA than here," she said.
"They are also genetically distinct so this is a very important colony to maintain."
Cannell believed the species was already struggling because the adult
penguins were travelling further afield to find food, leaving their
chicks for long periods.
"They are doing some amazingly long trips," she said.
"One [penguin went] to Margaret River, who was away for 14, 15 days."
Dr Cannell has been monitoring the penguins' movements using GPS tracking devices as part of a three-year research program.
cites cases where chicks in nests on Penguin Island have died of
starvation while their parents travel well beyond their traditional
Increased sea surface temperatures linked to
strong La Nina conditions in 2011 were thought to be the cause for a
decline in the stocks of fish that the penguins feed on.
Little penguins under threat from boats and jet-skis
Dr Cannell said she is also concerned about the number of penguins being hit by boats and jet-skis.
often find birds that have got propeller cuts along their backs, birds
with broken bones, broken skulls and fractured necks," she said.
Cannell was concerned the new Mangles Bay marina being developed by
Cedar Woods Properties Ltd, which was approved by the Environmental
Protection Authority earlier this year, will increase boat traffic.
an appeal against the EPA's decision, Dr Cannell called for the
development not to be approved "to ensure the protection of the little
penguin population on Garden Island".
She said the abundance of fish that the penguins feed on, is likely to be affected by the seagrass lost during construction.
been looking at foraging habitat for these penguins since 2007 and
those areas are so important for those penguins," she said.
area, the southern half of Cockburn Sound, is used exclusively by the
little penguins on Garden Island while they are raising their chicks so
it's a very important area for these penguins."
The development is currently before Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt for approval.
Woods Properties Ltd managing director Paul Sadleir said it would be
operating under strict conditions set down by the EPA.
"There will be marine fauna observers there to inspect the construction site before we start," he said.
"The spoil from the dredging will be taken onshore so there won't be clouding and sediment all through the Sound."
Among other conditions, the proponents are also required to re-plant twice the area of seagrass lost during construction.
think it's also worth noting that the 5.6 hectares of sea grass that
will be removed as part of the marina project is about point one of one
per cent of the total southern part of Cockburn Sound," Mr Sadleir said.
Dr Cannell was unconvinced by the conditions and said not enough was
known about the penguins' habitat to ensure it would not be affected by
"Really these penguins are an indicator of how
healthy the whole coastal eco system is and if they end up dying out,
then that means our whole coastal eco system is dying as well," she
The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is home to one of the largest colonies
of African penguins in North America. Soon the zoo will be opening
Penguin Coast, its new home for the birds. The exhibit will allow the
number of endangered birds to double from its current number of 50.
Scientist Gerald Kooyman has been studying emperor penguins for more than 40 years.
Gerald Kooyman discusses his research on Antarctica's iconic wildlife
By Peter Rejcek, Antarctic Sun Editor
Posted September 19, 2014
From making the first measurements of the diving depth of an emperor penguin in the 1960s to tracking colonies of Aptenodytes forsteri with satellites, Gerald Kooyman’s
long career studying the physiology and populations of marine
vertebrates has made him one of the world’s leading experts on
Antarctica’s iconic seabird.
Kooyman takes notes at a gentoo penguin colony in 1972.
1. You began your career in the Antarctic studying the diving
physiology of Weddell seals, I believe. What got you interested in
studying emperor penguins?
The first time I saw emps was early October of 1961, at Cape Royds,
when three came blasting through thin ice. They walked the 100 meters or
so from off shore and stood next to me in strong wind and bitter cold.
From that day forward, I wanted to learn more about the bird, and over
the years concurrent with the Weddell seal study, I did various short
experiments until 1986 when I got serious on a full time schedule of
working with emps.
2. You’ve been studying Antarctica’s iconic seabirds for more than
four decades now. What are some of the most important things that
you’ve learned about them?
The first determination of their diving depths to 265 meters in 1969;
it was the first such measurement for any bird, and it remained a
[depth] record by far until my 1986 study at Cape Washington.
The first remote camp site established on annual sea ice, which evolved into a series of studies that are still in progress.
Emperor penguins swim under dive holes at Penguin Ranch.
The discovery of Cape Washington emp colony – known since 1964, but
with no idea that it was the second largest known colony, and it was an
ideal place for many of our studies including the foraging behavior of
Application of the isolated dive hole protocol. First used for
Weddell seals, and the determination that it would work for emps, as
well for diving physiological studies, one of which was the
determination of their aerobic diving limit.
The breeding population structure of all Ross Sea emp colonies, and
that the chick fledging is an active process initiated by them, and they
initiate the fledging while their body [is] still covered by 60 percent
Demonstration in 1998 that the Ross Sea colonies could be reached in
winter by [research vessel], and while there that we noted recent tracks
of birds coming and going to the water.
3. Emperors and other penguin species have been in the news
recently. Some of the reports seem to give conflicting news about the
status of the species’ overall health and their possible response to
climate change. Some of your own recent work
has suggested that emperor penguins are less loyal to their breeding
colonies than previously believed, meaning they may be able to adjust to
changing conditions if ice disappears. How do you see emperor penguins
faring in the coming decades as the Antarctic climate continues to
change, if current predictions hold true?
If the current trend continues then, like most of the planet, the
outlook is bleak for all emps, but especially those at the lower
latitudes. In those regions, sea ice decline will not only destabilize
breeding colonies, but also the pack-ice where the birds will molt in
the summer time. All individuals must molt, and the fast or pack-ice
that they choose must last for 36 days. Any time less and they lack the
water proofing to enter the minus 2 degrees Celsius water.
4. The study I referred to in the previous question had involved
using satellites to track the movements of the animals, and you’ve been
involved in other studies using remote sensing. How important do you
think remote sensing will be in the future for research and conservation
Vital. There are places we cannot go for various reasons and the
imagery from satellites can provide much information. The response time
from request to acquiring an image is getting shorter, and the
resolution is better. This will continue to improve as more demand for
many tasks increases.
An aerial view of Cape Washington. The dark stains are actually emperor penguins.
Photo Credit: Rob Dunbar
Transmitters on the backs of emperor penguins. Research under Antarctic Conservation Act permit No. 2013-006.
Photo Credit: Gerald Kooyman
Kooyman's latest expedition took him and his team to remote and rough areas of the Antarctic.
5. Your most recent fieldwork took you to remote Antarctic seas in
2013 at the age of 78 to study emperor penguins during a period when,
as you said in your blog, “no one else has ever seen them: between
molting and returning to the colony.” What is the significance of this
research and what are you learning from the transmitters that you
deployed on the animals?
I am not sure what my age has to do with it, but haven’t you heard
that 70 is the new 40? When you stop exploring and learning, you are
“dead in the water.”
The time period just before our study when the emps travel to the
molt site and feed along the way, and that period of our study, just
after molt, are the most critical to the adult birds. There is the risk
of failure to feed adequately to get through the molt and later fatten
enough to get through the long breeding fast. That said, all the
attendant needs for a rich, clean ocean must be explored as well.
Considering an earlier question, one of the great hopes for emps
surviving the projected environmental degradation are for those in the
Ross Sea, where sea ice is more likely to persist longer. If the Ross
Sea is established as a marine protected area as [Friends of the Ross
Sea Ecosystem] and other organizations lobby for, it will be the most
important sanctuary for emps as well as many other species.
6. What else is lacking in our understanding of emperor penguins?
Trends in their populations. At present, all projections of emps are
based on a single, small and relatively isolated colony in the eastern
sector of the Antarctic. More needs to be done elsewhere in regard to
population demographics, philopatry [the tendency to return to the same
breeding colony] as discussed in our recent papers led by [Peter]
Fretwell and [Michelle LaRue), and much about their physiology while
diving, which has been led by [Paul] Ponganis. There is more, but these
are two of my favorite things.
7. Was this expedition aboard the research vessel Nathaniel B. Palmer fairly unique for you in terms of your previous experience doing fieldwork? What was the experience like?
I have made cruises on the [research vessel Nathaniel B. Palmer]
in 1998 and 2000. Last year’s cruise was outstanding in all ways – the
crew was excellent in their support and all were well qualified for
cruising in such a remote area. Working with the research team led by
Dennis Hansell was a fine experience in learning about their work and
their help with ours.
Kooyman's book on penguins.
8. You published a book last year, Penguins (The Animal Answer
Guides: Q&A for the Curious Naturalist). What was the impetus behind
The editor Vince Burke asked me to write the book, and I think the
photographer Wayne Lynch may have suggested me. I accepted because of
Wayne, who is one of the day’s best nature photographers, and he would
supply the photographs. Also, I thought it would be an opportunity to
broaden my perspective and knowledge about penguins in general.
9. What’s next for you in terms of your research pursuits? Any
plans or proposals to return to the Ice and continue to work with
emperor penguin populations in the Ross Sea?
Birgitte McDonald, one of the team members, and I have a pending
proposal to return the eastern Ross Sea, as well as for some work in the
western Ross Sea post-molt and breeding emps.
How are penguins similar to humans? A new book offers an illustrated peek into their social habits
By Alexandra Wolfe
Sept. 18, 2014
The new book 'Penguins' describes the social habits of the 18 species of penguins.
Mark Jones/Roving Tortoise Photos
Want to know more about penguins'
private lives? One key fact: They don't all hang out on the ice. In the
new book "Penguins" (Princeton University Press: $35), wildlife
photographers and natural history writers Tui De Roy, Mark Jones and
Julie Cornthwaite describe the social habits of the 18 species of
Illustrated with 400 photographs of the flightless birds
frolicking on the land and in the sea, the book highlights the ways that
penguins often seem similar to humans in their temper, gait and stance.
Though people tend to associate penguins with cold and ice, most
species reside, in fact, in milder climates—with one, the Galapagos
penguin, even living in the tropics.
In the new book 'Penguins,' wildlife
photographers and natural-history writers Tui De Roy, Mark Jones and
Julie Cornthwaite describe the social habits of the 18 species of
penguins. Here are some of his images:
Published On: Sep 19 2014 ROYAL OAK, Mich. -
Now you can watch the penguins at the Detroit Zoo through ClickOnDetroit's live streaming cameras on this webpage.
species of penguins are currently living in the Detroit Zoo's
Penguinarium - king, macaroni and rockhopper. The facility was
constructed in 1968, and at the time, it was the first of its kind in
North America to be designed specifically for penguins.
The Detroit Zoo recently broke ground on the Polk Penguin
Conservation Center (PPCC), a $29.5 million, 33,000 square-foot facility
situated near the main entrance to the Zoo. Set to open in late 2015,
the new space will give guests views above and below the water as
penguins dive and soar through a chilled 326,000-gallon, 25-foot-deep
The PPCC will be home to about 80 penguins of four species: rockhopper, macaroni, king and gentoo - a new species to the Zoo.
habitat will be an optimal environment for the penguins' welfare and
encourage wild behavior, from diving and porpoising to nesting and
Following the opening of the PPCC, the Penguinarium will become a bat conservation center.
For more information or to make a philanthropic investment in the Polk Penguin Conservation Center, visit http://dzoo.org/pcc.
love of photography was passed down from one generation to another. Phd
student, Laetitia Kernaleguen, became hooked on the pastime after she
and her father studied his old film camera together. Since then she’s
sought to capture the feeling and majesty of stunning scenery. This
photo of king penguins is the Editor’s pick for this year’s BMC Ecology Image Competition.
Laetitia Kernaleguen is an ecologist with an interest in animal
behaviour. Although currently working on a PhD studying the reproductive
success in fur seals at Deakin University in Australia, this Q&A
takes us back to her research on king penguins, at a time when she was
collecting some data and samples to send back to the lab.
Tell us a bit more about this image?
This image shows two adult king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus)
in the middle of a huge crèche of chicks. It illustrates one of the
most fascinating interactions between animals: cooperation. Cooperation
happens more frequently than we think. Here, penguins huddle together in
huge crèches of several thousand chicks to protect themselves against
the cold and predators.
We loved the sense of humour in this photo, and the
juxtaposition of the adults and chicks. Why were the adults amongst the
chicks rather than out foraging?
Winter on Crozet Island means dwindling prey populations around the
colony, so most adults have to travel to Antarctica to forage. When they
return to the colony, they usually stand next to the crèches and sing.
Chicks hurtle towards them, frantically singing, desperate to be
recognized. It’s a distressing moment, as there are many cheeky chicks
trying to weasel food from any adult. You can sense a chick’s fear of
not getting fed and its relief once it is reunited with its parents. The
photo shows a time when two adults entered into this big crèche to find
their respective chick and feed it.
The individuality of each of the birds in the image is really
engaging. Did you get a chance to bond with the birds when you were
taking this photo?
I found that a huge crèche like the one in the picture is rather
impersonal; it looks like a noisy and smelly uniform entity. I followed
this colony for 15 months, measuring chick’s growth rate from their
birth until their first trip at sea, at about ten months old. I was
amazed by the birds’ strong personality. Some were excessively curious;
some were always fighting against me, hitting me again and again; while
others were very cooperative with my research work. One was even clever
enough to recognize me and hide every fortnight I was supposed to catch
it. Funnily enough the chick never did so on the other days and I never
did find the hiding spot.
Where were you when you took this picture? Why were you there and was anyone else with you?
I took this picture at Crozet Island, located in Sub Antarctica. I
was working for a French research lab, the DEPE-CNRS in Strasbourg,
collecting some data on king penguins. No-one lives permanently on the
island. During the austral summer, we were about 40 people, a mixture of
researchers and technical staff. In winter, we were only 22. The island
is only accessible by boat that comes four times per year. I had the
chance to live 15 months in this remote island, it was an amazing
personal and professional adventure.
What about the scene do you find particularly interesting?
I like how hundreds of weak individuals gather together to form one
strong entity. During winter chicks are hardly fed and many of them die
from starvation. They are an easy target for their main predator: giant
petrels. By huddling together they form one big mass where it is
difficult to distinguish the weaker ones.
Why did you enter this image in the competition, and how do you feel now you’ve won a prize?
Photography is an amazing way to share with many people our live
experiences. Without any words, pictures can deliver a message, a
situation and even feelings. The BMC Ecology Image Competition
invited me to unite my two passions: ecology and photography. I am very
honoured to receive a prize from this competition!
Schrier | Mlive.com
Bamm-Bamm, left, and Dewey, African black-footed penguins, stand in a
pen at the Children's Zoo at Celebration Square in Saginaw, Sept. 16,
2014. The zoo staff hopes Bamm-Bamm, one of two new male penguins they
recently acquired, will pair-bond and mate with Dewey, one of the
female African black-footed penguins already living there. The potential
pairs are isolated from the rest of the penguins to give them time to
pair-bond. Once they've bonded, they can return to live with the rest of
the penguins who are on display to the public.
Sue White | For MLive.com
on September 17, 2014
SAGINAW, MI – Clustered on the roof of their
shelter, penguins Bamm-Bamm and Robben closely watched the zookeeper
washing down their plastic wading pool at the Children's Zoo at
They've left their temporary quarantine to begin a bonding period
with Saginaw female penguins Scooter and Dewey that, if all goes well,
will become their partners for life.
Once that bond is established, "we're hoping they'll breed during the
winter months, typically between November and February," said Robin
Carey, the zoo's education and conservation supervisor.
Meet the African black-footed penguins at the Children's Zoo at Celebration Square in Saginaw
On Monday, Sept. 15, "we could tell Robben and Scooter liked each
other," said Animal Collections Director Karen Ackerman. "Scooter was
already showing some breeding behaviors. But they were all a little
nervous. Bamm-Bamm moved into a nesting area so that was new to him and
he and Dewey were new to each other.
"Honestly, they were more interested in the keepers than each other
at first. But we left for a little while and when we came back, Robben
and Scooter were nestled together."
The next morning, Scooter loudly honked her approval, though Ackerman
said that could have meant she was happy to hear her human friends back
Once bonded, they'll be introduced to the general penguin population and pick out their own nest in the community complex.
"We had hoped to bring them here in the early spring but Bamm-Bamm
started to molt, a stressful time to make that kind of move," Carey
said. "Then one of our penguins was molting and when she was done,
Robben started to molt. I finally brought them here in the second week
Ironically, the same restrictions brought African penguins to the zoo
at 1730 S. Washington in 2003 made it possible for Bamm-Bamm and Robben
to come to Saginaw as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums'
Species Survival Plan.
The zoo wasn't accredited with the association in 2003, which limited
its choice of penguins to those considered "vulnerable" or better. Now
the African species, also known as black-footed, are classified as
endangered. Under the plan, they're genetically paired with mates in
accredited zoos with the ultimate goal of boosting a wild population
that fell 60 percent in the past three generations due to climate
changes, loss of habitat, oil spills and uncontrolled fishing.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature estimates 75,000 to 80,000 African penguins now live in the wild.
The Children's Zoo at Celebration Square has sent one of its
penguins, a female named Petey, to a zoo in New Orleans to breed, though
she'll return to Saginaw. But because Bamm-Bamm, who is 1 ½ years old,
and Robben, who is 3, come from New York's Seneca Zoo, where its
successful breeding program has produced an abundance of chicks, they
will become a permanent part of the Saginaw group.
"By looking for under-represented bloodlines in pairing the penguins,
we're hoping to continue a viable, sustainable population," Carey said.
"The long-term goal is to stabilize the wild as well and establish a
habitat that will sustain the African penguins."
The penguins are especially vulnerable, she said, because airborne
contamination can trigger a lung disease similar to tuberculosis.
Already, they take salt supplements with their daily diet of kipling and
lake and Peruvian smelt.
Scooter grabbed attention a few years ago when she had to wear a
custom-made wetsuit until her feathers grew back. She and Robben will
stay in a separate room from Bamm-Bamm and Dewey though the couples will
stay in each other's sight.
Once they join the others, Petey might be sitting on her own clutch,
as a nest is called. And there's a surrogate couple in the mix,
brother-and-sister Chilly and Willy, who while unable to breed will
nurture an egg slipped into their clutch.
"There's a different dynamic in the flock so we'll watch for any
signs of aggression," Carey said. "But I see this as a wonderful
opportunity to turn the exhibit into an interactive experience. If we
build a nursery, visitors can see the chicks grow. Penguins in captivity can live into their 30s. And while in the
wild, only one of the two eggs typically hatch, most of those laid in
captivity survive. The association has recommended two breeding
programs, which means eight babies. They could well become ambassadors of their species."
The Penguin Camera is located on Torgersen Island (64°46’S, 64°04’W), off the coast of Anvers Island and less than a mile from Palmer Station. Torgersen Island is home to a colony of Adélie penguins numbering approximately 2,500. This camera is seasonal and operates primarily from October to February, the Adélie breeding season. The camera is solar-powered and may sometimes experience brief outages due to inclement weather. School classrooms and other educational demonstrations will often take control of the camera, moving it to gain better views of the colony.
Location of Torgersen Island
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Live video of the "Penguin Encounter" at SeaWorld San Diego
A lifelong student and confirmed polymath, I am currently writing my 2nd book this spring. I have an AS in Biology, a BA and an MA in English, plus I began a degree in Geology while living in CA. I am a retired herpetologist, but my blogs and current interests strive to promote animal conservation, particularly Penguins,Wolves, and Big Cats. I live with the loves of my life, Sissy, a Chihuahua, and Joey, Alero, Jillian, Loki, Jadin, Perse, Socks and Siggy - my ThunderCats - who help me cope with narcolepsy.