Pygoscelid penguins breeding distribution and population trends at Lions Rump rookery, King George Island

Open access


Long term changes (46 years) in the abundance of pygoscelid penguins breeding populations and nests distribution in the Lions Rump (King George Island) colony were in− vestigated in three time intervals, according to previously published two censuses and one original study conducted in 2010. At that time a detailed colony map based on the GIS system was made. Results of this study showed different trends for each investigated species. In the last three decades Adélie penguin breeding populations showed strong declining tendencies (69.61%). In contrast, the population of gentoo penguins represents the reverse trend, increasing 171.85% over the same period. Observed changes in both penguin population sizes are reflected in the different spatial and geographic distribution of their nests. The population changes observed at the Lions Rump colony are consistent with the relevant pygoscelid penguin tendencies in the western Antarctic Peninsula region. Breeding penguin population dynamics at Lions Rump area with a minimal disturbance by human activity may well illustrate a natural response of those birds to environmental changes in the Antarctic.

ANGIEL P.J. and DĄBSKI M. 2012. Lichenometric ages of the Little Ice Age moraines on King George Island and of the last volcanic activity on Penguin Island (West Antarctica). Geografiska Annaler, Series A: Physical Geography 94: 395-412.

Antarctic Protected Areas Database ASPA 151: Lions Rump, King George Island, South Shetland Islands

BOST C.A. and JOUVENTIN P. 1990. Evolutionary ecology of the gentoo penguin Pygoscelis papua. In: L. Davis and J. Darby (eds) Penguin biology. Academic Press, San Diego: 85-112.

BRAUN M. and GOSSMANN H. 2002. Glacial changes in the area of Admiralty Bay and Potter Cove, King George Island, Antarctica. In: M. Beyer and M. Boelter (eds) GeoEcology of TerrestrialAntarctic Oases. Springer Verlag, Berlin−Heidelberg: 75-89.

CHWEDORZEWSKA K.J. 2009. Terrestrial Antarctic ecosystems at the changing world - An overview. Polish Polar Research 30: 263-273.

CHWEDORZEWSKA K.J. andKORCZAK M. 2010. Human impact upon the environment in the vicinity of Arctowski Station, King George Island, Antarctica. Polish Polar Research 31: 45-60.

CIAPUTA P. and SIERAKOWSKI K. 1999. Long−term population changes of Adélie, chinstrap, and gentoo penguins in the regions of SSSI No. 8 and SSSI No. 34, King George Island, Antarctica. Polish Polar Research 20: 355-365.

CROXALL J.P. and KIRKWOOD E.D. 1979. The distribution of penguins on the Antarctic Peninsula andislands of the Scotia Sea. Life Science Division, British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge: 186 pp.

CROXALL J.P. and NICOL S. 2004. Management of Southern Ocean Fisheries: global forces and future sustainability. Antarctic Science 16: 569-584.

CROXALL J.P., CALLAGHAN T., CERVELLATI R. andWALTON D.W.H. 1992. Southern Ocean Environmental Changes: Effects on Seabird, Seal and Whale Populations [and Discussion]. Philo−sophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 338: 319-328.

CROXALl J.P., TRATHAN P.N. andMURPHY E.J. 2002. Environmental change and Antarctic seabird populations. Science 297: 1510-1514.

DUNN M.J., SILK J.R.D. and TRATHAN P.N. 2011. Post−breeding dispersal of Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) nesting at Signy Island, South Orkney Islands. Polar Biology 34: 205-214.

EVERSON I. and GOSS C. 1991. Krill fishing activity in the southwest Atlantic. Antarctic Science 3: 351-458.

FORCADA J., TRATHAN P.N. and MURPHY E.J. 2008. Life history buffering in Antarctic mammals and birds against changing patterns of climate and environmental variation. Global Change Bi−ology 14: 2473-2488.

FORCADA J., TRATHAN P.N., REID K., MURPHY E.J. and CROXALL J.P. 2006. Contrasting population changes in sympatric penguin species in association with climate warming. Global ChangeBiology 12: 411-423.

FRASER W.R., TRIVELPIECE W.Z.,AINLEY D.G. and TRIVELPIECE S.G. 1992. Increases in Antarctic penguin populations−reduced competition with whales or a loss of sea ice due to environmental warming. Polar Biology 11: 525-531.

HINKE J.T., SALWICKA K., TRIVELPIECE S.G.,WATTERS G.M. and TRIVELPIECE W.Z. 2007. Divergent responses of Pygoscelis penguins reveal a common environmental driver. Oecologia 153: 845-855.

JABŁOŃSKI B. 1984. Distribution and numbers of penguins in the region of King George Island (South Shetland Islands) in the breeding season 1980/1981. Polish Polar Research 5: 17-30.

JABŁOŃSKI B. 1986. Distribution, abundance and biomass of a summer community of birds in the region of the Admiralty Bay (King George Islands, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica) in 1978/79. Polish Polar Research 7: 217-260.

KING J.C. 1994. Recent climate variability in the vicinity of the Antarctic Peninsula. InternationalJournal of Climatology 14: 357-369.

KING J.C., TURNER J.,MARSHALL G.J., CONNOLLEY W.M. and LACHAN−COPE T.A. 2003. Antarctic Peninsula climate variability ant its causes as revealed by analysis of instrumental records. In: E. Domack, A. Leventer, A. Burnett, R. Bindschadler, P. Convey and M. Kirby (eds) Antarctic Peninsula Climate Variability. Antarctic Research Series, Amercian Geophysical Union, Washington DC 79: 17-30.

KORCZAK−ABSHIRE M. 2010. Climate change influences on Antarctic bird populations. Papers onGlobal Change 17: 53-43.

KORCZAK−ABSHIRE M., ANGIEL P.J. andWIERZBICKI G. 2011. Records of white−rumped sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis) on the South Shetland Islands. Polar Record 47: 262-267.

KORCZAK−ABSHIRE M., CHWEDORZEWSKA K.J.,WĄSOWICZ P. and BEDNAREK P.T. 2012. Genetic structure of declining chinstrap penguin (Pygoscelis antarcticus) populations from South Shet− land Islands (Antarctica). Polar Biology 35:1681-1689.

LESCROËL A., RIDOUX V. and BOST C.A. 2004. Spatial and temporal variation in the diet of the gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua) at Kerguelen Islands. Polar Biology 27: 206-216.

LITYŃSKA−ZAJĄC M., CHWEDORZEWSKA K.J., OLECH M., KORCZAK−ABSHIRE M. and AUGU− STYNIUK−KRAM A. 2012. Diaspores and phyto−remains accidentally transported to the Antarctic Station during three expeditions. Biodiversity and Conservation 21: 3411-3421.

LYNCH H.J., FAGAN W.F., NAVEEN R., TRIVELPIECE S.G., and TRIVELPIECE W.Z. 2012. Differen− tial advancement of breeding phenology in response to climate may alter staggered breeding among sympatric pygoscelid penguins. Marine Ecology Progress Series 454: 135-145.

MARSHALL G.J., LAGUN V. and LACHLAN−COPE T.A. 2002. Changes in Antarctic Peninsula tropo− spheric temperatures from 1956-1999: A synthesis of observations and reanalysis data. Interna−tional Journal of Climatology 22: 291-310.

MILLER A.K.,KARNOVSKY N.J. and TRIVELPIECE W.Z. 2009. Flexible foraging strategies of gentoo penguins Pygoscelis papua over 5 years in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. Marine Biol−ogy 156: 2527-2537.

NICOL S., FOSTER J. andKAWAGUCHI S. 2012. The fishery for Antarctic krill - recent developments. Fish and Fisheries 13: 30-40.

OLECH M.,WĘGRZYN M., LISOWSKA M., SŁABY A. and ANGIEL P. 2011. Contemporary changes in vegetation of polar regions. Papers on Global Change 18: 35-53.

PARK B.K., CHANG S.K. and YOON H.I. 1998. Recent retreat of ice cliffs, King George Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctic Peninsula. Annals of Glaciology 27: 633-635.

PÜTZ K., INGHAM R.J., SMITH J.G. and CROXALL J.P. 2001. Population trends, breeding success, and diet composition of gentoo Pygoscelis papua, magellanic Spheniscus magellanicus and rockhopper Eudyptes chrysocome penguins in the Falkland Islands. Polar Biology 24: 793-807.

ROBINSON S.A. and HINDELL M.A. 1996. Foraging ecology of gentoo penguins Pygoscelis papua at Macquarie Island during the period of chick care. Ibis 138: 722-731.

SANDER M., BALBÃO T.C., COSTA E.S., SANTOS C.R. and PETRY M.V. 2007. Decline of the breed− ing population of Pygoscelis antarctica and Pygoscelis adeliae on Penguin Island, South Shet− land Antarctica. Polar Biology 30: 651-654.

SIERAKOWSKI K. 1991. Birds and mammals in the region of SSSI No. 8 in the season 1988/89 (South Shetlands, King George Island, Admiralty Bay). Polish Polar Research 12: 25-54.

STAMMERJOHN S.E.,MARTINSON D.G., SMITH R.C.,YUAN X. and RIND D. 2008. Trends in Antarc− tic annual sea ice retreat and advance and their relation to El Niño−Southern Oscillation and Southern Annular Mode variability. Journal of Geophysical Research Oceans 113: 1-20.

TRATHAN P.N., FORCADA J. and MURPHY E.J. 2007. Environmental forcing and Southern Ocean marine predator populations: effects of climate change and variability. Philosophical Transac−tions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 362: 2351-2365.

TRIVELPIECE W.Z., TRIVELPIECE S.G. and VOLKMAN N. 1987. Ecological segregation of Adélie, gentoo, and chinstrap penguins at King George Island, Antarctica. Ecology 68: 351-361.

TRIVELPIECE W.Z., HINKE J.T., MILLER A.K., REISS C.S., TRIVELPIECE S.G. and WATTERS G.M. 2011. Variability in krill biomass links harvesting and climate warming to penguin population changes in Antarctica. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108: 7625-7628.

TURNER J. 2004. The El Niño−southern oscillation and Antarctica. International Journal of Climatology 24: 1-31.

TURNER J., COLWELL S.R.,MARSHALL G., LACHLETON A.M., CARLETONCOPE T.A., JONES P.D., LAGUN V., REID P.A. and IAGOVKINA S. 2005. Antarctic Climate Change During the Last 50 Years. International Journal of Climatology 25: 279-294.

Scientific Committee for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. 2004. Commissionfor the Conservation of Antarctic Living Marine Resources Ecosystem Monitoring Program(CEMP) Standard Methods for Monitoring Studies. Hobart, Australia (revised).−meth04.pdf

VAN DEN HOFF J.,MCMAHON C.R., and FIELD I. 2009. Tipping back the balance: recolonization of the Macquarie Island isthmus by king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) following extermi− nation for human gain. Antarctic Science 21: 237-241.

VAUGHAN D.G., MARSHALL G.J., CONNOLLEY W.M., PARKINSON C., MULVANEY R., HODGSON D.A., KING J.C., PUDSEY C.J. and TURNER J. 2003. Recent rapid regional climate warming on the Antarctic Peninsula. Climatic Change 60: 243-274.

WĘGRZYN M., LISOWSKA M., OLECH M. and OSYCZKA P. 2011. Methods and materials. Botanical research. In:W. Ziaja (ed.) Transformation of the natural environment in Western Sørkapp Land(Spitsbergen) since the 1980s. Jagiellonian University Press, Kraków: 23-24.

WILSON P.R., AINLEY D.G., NUR N., JACOBS S.S., BARTON K.J., BALLARD G. and COMISO J.C. 2001. Adélie penguin population change in the Pacific sector of Antarctica: relation to sea−ice extent and the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Marine Ecology Progress Series 213: 301-309.

YUAN X.J. andMARTINSON D.G. 2000. Antarctic sea ice extent variability and its global connectivity. Journal of Climate 13: 1697-1717.

YUAN X.J. 2004. ENSO−related impacts on Antarctic sea ice: a synthesis of phenomenon and mechanisms. Antarctic Science 16: 415-425.

Polish Polar Research

The Journal of Committee on Polar Research of Polish Academy of Sciences

Journal Information

IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 0.636
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.121

CiteScore 2016: 1.20

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.556
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.645

Cited By


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 147 147 18
PDF Downloads 68 68 5