Dynamics of Numbers and Occurrence of Colonial Species of Birds in the Area of Ukrainian Antarctic Station Akademik Vernadsky

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Abstract

The research covers water area, island archipelagos and coastal line of the Antarctic Peninsula from 65°31ʹ S, 64°25ʹ W in the South to 65°03ʹ S, 63°53ʹ W in the North. There was time gap of 7 years between the researches (2011 and 2018), which allows to define tendencies in development of individual colonies and to make conclusion about success of existence of a given species. The work itself was carried out during the first half of January, that is in the time when the stage of brooding ends and the period of hatching starts. As of 2011, 12 nesting points of gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua) with total number of 8,342 pairs were found in the region under investigation. Till 2018, quantity of the colony grew to 14, with total number of 14,105 pairs. For seven years, quantity of nesting points of aelie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) almost did not change (4 colonies). Instead, total number of the species decreased somewhat: from 3559 pairsin 2011 to 3295 onesin 2018. Number of chinstrap penguin (Pygoscelis antarctica) in united stable locality for nesting also decreased from 26 pairsin 2011 to19 onesin 2018. Booth Island (65°04ʹ S, 64°02ʹ W) for chinstrap penguins and Green Island (65°19ʹ S, 64°09ʹ W) for gentoo penguins are the southern most points of nesting range of the species. Also, 7 colonies of antarctic shag (Phalacrocorax bransfieldensis) were revealed in the region under investigation. For seven years from 2011 to 2018 total number of the species in the region under investigation grew from 190 pairs to 299, and in most cases the antarctics shag forms settlements jointly with penguins.

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