Posted on 13/11/2012 by Dr Andre Chiaradia

As part of monitoring the health of penguins at sea, we regularly try to find out what they are eating.

Last night (7 November 2012) we collected stomach samples for diet analysis of penguins in guard stage. Penguins were already there when we arrived. It was a big rush to set up fencing to capture them but it paid off! We caught our “wanted” penguins in the first round (usually takes 3-4 rounds to do the same job). Females were 12% lighter and males a whoop 25% lighter than same time last year. Stomachs were half full in comparison with usually full to chock-a-block full we found in the last two years. It may sound doom and gloom but foraging conditions appear to be on the increase. After two weeks of weights falling below average, penguin weights are going up again as the weighbridge is telling us...

stomach lavage                       

Thanks for keen helpers on the field: Darren, Françoise and Parade rangers Paul and Sonya. Without vollies this work will not be possible!

Dr Andre