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Comparison of diving behavior and foraging habitat use between chinstrap and gentoo penguins breeding in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica
Kokubun, N.; Takahashi, A.; Mori, Y.; Watanabe, S.; Shin, H.-C. (2010). Comparison of diving behavior and foraging habitat use between chinstrap and gentoo penguins breeding in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 157(4): 811-825. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-009-1364-1
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Kokubun, N.
  • Takahashi, A.
  • Mori, Y.
  • Watanabe, S.
  • Shin, H.-C.

Abstract
    Chinstrap, Pygoscelis antarctica, and gentoo, P. papua, penguins are sympatric species that inhabit the Antarctic Peninsula. To evaluate differences in the foraging habitat of these two species, we recorded their foraging locations and diving behavior using recently developed GPS-depth data loggers. The study was conducted on King George Island, Antarctica during the chick-guarding period of both species, from December 2006 to January 2007. The area used for foraging, estimated as the 95% kernel density of dive (>5 m) locations, overlapped partially between the two species (26.4 and 68.5% of the area overlapped for chinstrap and gentoo penguins, respectively). However, the core foraging area, estimated as the 50% kernel density, was mostly separate (12.8 and 25.0% of the area overlapped for chinstrap and gentoo penguins, respectively). Chinstrap penguins tended to use off-shelf (water depth > 200 m) regions (77% of the locations for dives >5 m), whereas gentoo penguins mainly used on-shelf (water depth < 200 m) areas (71% of dive locations). The data on foraging locations, diving behavior, and bathymetry indicated that gentoo penguins often performed benthic dives (28% of dives >5 m), whereas chinstrap penguins almost always used the epipelagic/mid-water layer (96% of dives >5 m). Diving parameters such as diving bottom duration or diving efficiency differed between the species, reflecting differences in the use of foraging habitat. The diving parameters also suggested that the on-shelf benthic layer was profitable foraging habitat for gentoo penguins. Conversely, the relationship between trip duration, date, and stomach content mass suggested that the chinstrap penguins went further from the colony to forage as the season progressed, possibly reflecting a reduction in prey availability near the colony. Our results suggest that chinstrap and gentoo penguins segregated their foraging habitat in the Antarctic coastal marine environment, possibly due to inter- and intra-specific competition for common prey resources.

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