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Happy feet in a hostile world? The future of penguins depends on proactive management of current and expected threats


Ropert-Coudert, Y and Chiaradia, A and Ainley, D and Barbosa, A and Boersma, PD and Brasso, R and Dewar, M and Ellenberg, U and Garcia-Borboroglu, P and Emmerson, L and Hickcox, R and Jenouvrier, S and Kato, A and McIntosh, RR and Lewis, P and Ramirez, F and Ruoppolo, V and Ryan, PG and Seddon, PJ and Sherley, RB and Vanstreels, RET and Waller, LJ and Woehler, EJ and Trathan, PN, Happy feet in a hostile world? The future of penguins depends on proactive management of current and expected threats, Frontiers in Marine Science, 6, (MAY) Article 248. ISSN 2296-7745 (2019) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 Ropert-Coudert, Chiaradia, Ainley, Barbosa, Boersma, Brasso, Dewar, Ellenberg, García-Borboroglu, Emmerson, Hickcox, Jenouvrier, Kato, McIntosh, Lewis, Ramírez, Ruoppolo, Ryan, Seddon, Sherley, Vanstreels, Waller, Woehler and Trathan. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.3389/fmars.2019.00248


Penguins face a wide range of threats. Most observed population changes have been negative and have happened over the last 60 years. Today, populations of 11 penguin species are decreasing. Here we present a review that synthesizes details of threats faced by the world’s 18 species of penguins. We discuss alterations to their environment at both breeding sites on land and at sea where they forage. The major drivers of change appear to be climate, and food web alterations by marine fisheries. In addition, we also consider other critical and/or emerging threats, namely human disturbance near nesting sites, pollution due to oil, plastics and chemicals such as mercury and persistent organic compounds. Finally, we assess the importance of emerging pathogens and diseases on the health of penguins. We suggest that in the context of climate change, habitat degradation, introduced exotic species and resource competition with fisheries, successful conservation outcomes will require new and unprecedented levels of science and advocacy. Successful conservation stories of penguin species across their geographical range have occurred where there has been concerted effort across local, national and international boundaries to implement effective conservation planning.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:penguin, Spheniscidae, threats, mitigation, pollution, climate change, fisheries
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Conservation and biodiversity
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
UTAS Author:Woehler, EJ (Dr Eric Woehler)
ID Code:137695
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:43
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2020-02-27
Last Modified:2020-05-22
Downloads:11 View Download Statistics

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