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From trips to bouts to dives: temporal patterns in the diving behaviour of chick-rearing Adelie penguins, East Antarctica


Riaz, J and Bestley, S and Wotherspoon, S and Freyer, J and Emmerson, L, From trips to bouts to dives: temporal patterns in the diving behaviour of chick-rearing Adelie penguins, East Antarctica, Marine Ecology - Progress Series, 654 pp. 177-194. ISSN 0171-8630 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2020 Inter-Research Science Publisher

DOI: doi:10.3354/meps13519


Breeding Adélie penguins forage at sea and return to land to provision their chicks, adjusting their foraging behaviour in response to environmental fluctuations over time. At Béchervaise Island, a nesting site in an East Antarctic population, Adélie penguin diving behaviour remains undocumented. This represents a key area of uncertainty in efforts to understand and predict foraging success at this colony. Here, we compile a multi-year telemetry dataset from time-depth recorders deployed from 1992–2004 on 64 birds at Béchervaise Island. We examine diving activity at multiple scales: ranging from foraging trips (n = 125) to dive bouts (n = 3461) to individual dives (n = 84521). We characterise the stage- and sex-specific variation in diving behaviour of chick-rearing Adélie penguins using linear mixed effect models. Total foraging trip effort (trip duration, number of dives, vertical distance travelled and number of wiggles) substantially increased as the chick-rearing period progressed (guard through crèche), consistent with increasing chick provisioning and self-maintenance requirements over time. Foraging activity was predominantly structured in periods of sustained diving bouts, indicating sustained foraging effort over the course of the foraging trip. Diving behaviour (dive-level depth, duration, bottom time and ACPUEd) varied in relation to sex and chick-rearing stage. Dives were performed more frequently during high and low levels of solar light which is likely linked to visual predation strategies or prey activity. Our findings advance our understanding of this population’s foraging behaviour, which is ultimately required to underpin the conservation and management of this breeding colony.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Southern Ocean, Adelie penguins, marine predators, foraging behaviour, biotelemetry, diving
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Biodiversity in Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
UTAS Author:Riaz, J (Mr Javed Riaz)
UTAS Author:Bestley, S (Dr Sophie Bestley)
UTAS Author:Wotherspoon, S (Dr Simon Wotherspoon)
UTAS Author:Freyer, J (Mr Julien Freyer)
ID Code:141561
Year Published:2020
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DE180100828)
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2020-10-28
Last Modified:2021-03-18
Downloads:8 View Download Statistics

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