Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Penguin Peril challenged by another study; outcome due this week

Christina Hagen, Richard Sherley | 02 December, 2014

Penguins. File photo.

The article on the scientific debate on fishing around penguin colonies (“Penguin preservation plans hit conundrum”, 1 December) does not reflect the full extent of the debate.

Professor Butterworth’s analyses are not the only ones which have been conducted.

Researchers from the University of Cape Town, BirdLife South Africa and statisticians from various organisations also analysed the data that have been collected over the last 7 years, using different methods and found that the fishing closures have shown some benefit to the penguins at Robben and Dassen islands, which is contrary to the findings of Professor Butterworth, as well as the islands in the Eastern Cape.

The international panel of experts which is meeting in Cape Town this week will advise on appropriate methods and analyses to resolve these apparent contradictions going forward.
  • Christina Hagen
    Coastal Seabird Conservation Manager, BirdLife South Africa
  • Richard Sherley
    Animal Demography Unit, University of Cape Town and Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter

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