Annual Fluctuations in Productivity and Breeding Success of Adélie Penguins and Fulmarine Petrels in Prydz Bay, East Antarctica

  • M. D. Whitehead
  • G. W. Johnstone
  • H. R. Burton


Annual chick productivity and breeding success, recorded at four Adélie penguin, Pygoscelis adeliae, colonies at Magnetic Island in eastern Prydz Bay, are presented for the seven breeding seasons 1981/82 to 1987/88. The adult breeding population remained relatively stable during the first 4 years of the study, and increased in the last 2 years. Substantial annual variation in breeding success occurred over the study period, ranging between an estimated 0.69 and 1.33 chicks surviving until late créche stage per nest for seasons 1985/86 and 1982/83 respectively. Annual patterns of chick productivity in southern fulmar, Fulmarus glacialoides, and Antarctic petrel, Thalassoica antarctica, populations within Prydz Bay were synchronous with those of Adélie penguins. In the years of highest and lowest reproductive performance, prey abundance within the likely foraging areas was correspondingly high and low. Reproductive performance was greatest in years when fast-ice breakout occurred before the end of December (1981/82, 1982/83, 1986/87 and 1987/88) and lowest when breakout was after (1983/84, 1984/85 and 1985/86) and pack-ice cover persisted within the foraging range of the birds during the chick-rearing period.


Reproductive Performance Adelie Penguin Breeding Success Arrival Weight Davis Station 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. D. Whitehead
    • 1
  • G. W. Johnstone
  • H. R. Burton
    • 1
  1. 1.Australian Antarctic DivisionKingstonAustralia

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