Changes in sea-ice conditions can affect locomotion on land, diving behavior, and corresponding foraging success of penguins. In this study, locomotion on land and diving behavior were compared between early and late stages of the guard phase with different sea-ice conditions using miniaturized time-depth-acceleration data loggers for Adélie penguins Pygoscelis adeliae from 18 December 2001 to 11 January 2002 in Dumont d’Urville, Adélie Land (66.7°S, 140.0°E), Antarctica. Differences were found between early and late stages in the ratio of walking vs. tobogganing, proportion of time spent diving, diving depth as well as in the rate of parental tissue accumulation. In contrast, trip duration, distance traveled on land, and meal delivery rate to chicks did not differ between the stages. This study suggests that physical changes in sea-ice during the penguins’ chick-rearing period may affect certain on-land and/or at-sea behaviors which, in turn, may affect how resources are allocated to self-maintenance or chick-provisioning.
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This study was financially supported by a Research Fellowships from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science for Young Scientists and by a Grant for the Biodiversity Research of the 21st Century COE (A14). The authors would like to thank all the members of the 52nd wintering party at Dumont d’Urville for their help in the field, the French Institut Paul-Emile Victor (IPEV) and the captain and crew of l’Astrolabe for their logistic support; C.A. Bost and G.H. Hosie for their help, hospitality, and advice. Thanks also to Y. Naito, A. Kato, and K. Sato for supplying the loggers. We are grateful to D. Austin and Y. Watanuki for critical comments on the manuscript. All the necessary permits to conduct the research were obtained from the Terres Australes and Antarctiques Françaises and the project was accepted by the scientific and ethics committee of the Institut Paul-Emile Victor.
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