Penguins on Parade: Conflict in South Georgia – A Slideshow

Animal Ecology In Focus

The Sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia is home to some of the world’s largest breeding aggregations of penguins. Long-term monitoring studies reveal that the local population trends are complex. Some species and colonies have rapidly declined, but others have increased or remained stable. For example, the local population of macaroni penguins rapidly declined between the 1970s and early 2000s. During the same period of time, the local king penguin population increased. Within each of these species, individual colonies changed at different rates and a small number changed in opposite directions. Thus, it appears that the penguin species and colonies of South Georgia have responded differently to climate change and anthropogenic pressures such as fisheries, and historic sealing and whaling activities that changed the community structure. Unravelling these processes is considered an important challenge and has been the focus of extensive research [1][2][3]. Recent work [4] on the…

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