Polar Biology 25: 939-941 (2002)

Changes in Adelie penguin breeding populations in Lutzow-Holm Bay, Antarctica, in relation to sea-ice conditions

Kato A, Ropert-Coudert Y, Naito Y

The Adelie penguin Pygoscelis adeliae, an important component of the Antarctic marine ecosystem, is closely associated with sea ice. Using data collected by Japanese Antarctic Research Expeditions since the 1960's, we examined trends in breeding populations of this species around Lutzow-Holm Bay. Ten colonies ranging in size 10 to 2500 individuals were counted along the Soya Coast. Populations fluctuated synchronously, and overall increased at most colonies, except for two: one located deep inside of the bay and another where human disturbance was substantial. Populations tended to increase during, or after, periods of sparse sea-ice in summer, a condition which occurred once every decade. An increase in population size also occurred 5 years after a winter of extensive sea-ice and after a winter of especially reduced sea-ice.

NIPR Marine Biology Group