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Population trends of seabirds at Stinker Point, Elephant Island, Maritime Antarctica

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 May 2018

Maria V. Petry*
Affiliation:
Laboratório de Ornitologia e Animais Marinhos, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biologia, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos – UNISINOS, Av. Unisinos, no 950, Cristo Rei, 93.022-000, São Leopoldo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil National Institute of Science and Technology Antarctic Environmental Research - INCT-APA
Fernanda C.L. Valls
Affiliation:
Laboratório de Ornitologia e Animais Marinhos, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biologia, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos – UNISINOS, Av. Unisinos, no 950, Cristo Rei, 93.022-000, São Leopoldo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil National Institute of Science and Technology Antarctic Environmental Research - INCT-APA
Elisa S. Petersen
Affiliation:
Laboratório de Ornitologia e Animais Marinhos, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biologia, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos – UNISINOS, Av. Unisinos, no 950, Cristo Rei, 93.022-000, São Leopoldo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil National Institute of Science and Technology Antarctic Environmental Research - INCT-APA
Júlia V.G. Finger
Affiliation:
Laboratório de Ornitologia e Animais Marinhos, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biologia, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos – UNISINOS, Av. Unisinos, no 950, Cristo Rei, 93.022-000, São Leopoldo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil National Institute of Science and Technology Antarctic Environmental Research - INCT-APA
Lucas Krüger
Affiliation:
Laboratório de Ornitologia e Animais Marinhos, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biologia, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos – UNISINOS, Av. Unisinos, no 950, Cristo Rei, 93.022-000, São Leopoldo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil National Institute of Science and Technology Antarctic Environmental Research - INCT-APA

Abstract

Available information about seabird breeding population trends on Stinker Point (Elephant Island, Maritime Antarctic Peninsula) is outdated by decades. This study reports current numbers of breeding species, and evaluates population trends over 28 years. We counted breeding pairs of seabirds along all ice-free areas on Stinker Point during two distinct periods (summers of 1985/86–1991/92 and 2009/10–2013/14). Thirteen species currently breed in the area: four Sphenisciformes, four Procellariiformes, one Suliforme and four Charadriiformes. Chinstrap penguin Pygoscelis antarcticus has the highest number of breeding pairs (4971±590), followed by gentoo penguin Pygoscelis papua (1242±339). Comparisons between the two intervals showed declining trends for almost all breeding populations, although southern giant petrels Macronectes giganteus are experiencing a subtle population growth. Population decreases in locations with low human disturbance, such as Stinker Point, may indicate sensibility to climate and environmental change and need further investigation.

Type
Biological Sciences
Copyright
© Antarctic Science Ltd 2018 

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