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Linking Variation in Penguin Responses to Pedestrian Activity for Best Practise Management on Subantarctic Macquarie Island


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Holmes, ND and Giese, MA and Kriwoken, L (2008) Linking Variation in Penguin Responses to Pedestrian Activity for Best Practise Management on Subantarctic Macquarie Island. Polarforschung, 77 (1). pp. 7-15. ISSN 0032-2490

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From 2001–2005, a project was undertaken on subantarctic
Macquarie Island to investigate the variation in responses to pedestrian activity by King Aptenodytes patagonicus, Gentoo Pygoscelis papua and Royal Eudyptes schlegeli penguins. The overall aim was to produce management-
oriented information both for commercial tourism in the subantarctic and Antarctic, and for Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties. A series of experimental
and observational studies were employed to quantify aspects of physiology, behaviour and reproductive success of these three species of subantarctic penguins when exposed to pedestrian activity – the most common form of human activity on Macquarie Island. Key aspects of penguin ecology
likely to yield information valuable to management were investigated, including:
1) the efficacy of current minimum approach distance guidelines for
visitation to penguins; 2) the effect of visitor group size on penguin responses
to pedestrian activity; 3) the role of habituation in penguin responses to pedestrian
activity; 4) the phase of breeding / moult during which penguins are most sensitive to pedestrian activity; and 5) comparative responses to human activity between the three species examined. This paper describes key results
from these five studies, and the application for management of humanpenguin interactions on Macquarie Island and other subantarctic and Antarctic locations.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Polarforschung
Page Range: pp. 7-15
ISSN: 0032-2490
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Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2011 06:36
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:22
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