The health of penguin chicks points scientists to changes in the ocean
Article published by John Cannon Activism, Agriculture, Amphibians, Animal Behavior, Animals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Biodiversity Hotspots, Birds, Bushmeat, Cats, Climate Change, Climate Science, Conservation, Conservation Technology, Coral Reefs, Ecology, Ecosystems, Elephants, Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Activism, Environmental Politics, Extinction, Fish, Fisheries, Fishing, Forests, Fragmentation, Global Warming Mitigation, Green, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Impact Of Climate Change, In-situ Conservation, Insects, Invasive Species, Invertebrates, Iucn, Mammals, Marine Animals, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Birds, Marine Conservation, Marine Crisis, Marine Ecosystems, Marine Protected Areas, Natural Capital, New Species, Oceans, Overfishing, Parks, Poaching, Pollution, Primates, Protected Areas, Rainforests, Research, Satellite Imagery, Saving Species From Extinction, Sharks, Species Discovery, Technology, Technology And Conservation, Tropical Forests, Water, Wcs, Whales, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored A recent closure of commercial fishing around South Africa’s Robben Island gave scientists the chance to understand how fluctuations in prey fish populations affect endangered African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) absent pressure from humans.The researchers found that the more fish were available, the better the condition of the penguin chicks that rely on their parents for food.This link between prey abundance in the sea and the condition of penguin chicks on land could serve as an indicator of changes in the ecosystem. It’s hard to imagine how the oceans might operate without the sway of human activity. The recent assessment by the U.N. Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services found that we’ve impacted 66 percent of the ocean in some way. Industrial-scale fishing, for example, can make it difficult for ecologists to understand the natural relationships that underpin predator-prey relationships unperturbed by human influence.But a recent experimental shutdown of commercial fishing around South Africa’s Robben Island has given scientists a unique window into the details of one such relationship, demonstrating the impact that the availability of prey fish has on the behavior and health of endangered African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) absent pressure from humans.An adult African penguin guarding chicks at the Robben Island colony in South Africa. Image courtesy of Earthwatch South African Penguins Project and the British Ecological Society.“Understanding how African penguins forage to feed their chicks in their variable marine environment can help us identify conservation measures for these endangered populations,” Kate Campbell, an ecologist at the University of Cape Town and the leader of the research, said in a statement. “A three-year commercial fisheries closure around Robben Island created a unique opportunity to study how African penguins directly respond to natural changes in local abundance of their prey — anchovies and sardines.”Campbell and her colleagues found that the more fish were available, the better the condition of the penguin chicks that rely on their parents for food. Outside of those times of plenty, penguins started to change their behavior, said University of Exeter ecologist Richard Sherley in the statement.“Once food gets harder to find, more individuals will start to struggle and work harder, but they will do so at different rates, increasing the variation we see in foraging effort,” said Sherley, who was also a co-author of the paper.African penguins at sea. Image by R.B. Sherley/University of Exeter courtesy of the British Ecological Society.The research, demonstrating that the abundance of sardines and anchovies accounted for about 60 percent of this variation, was published May 21 in the Journal of Applied Ecology.Between 2011 and 2013, 75 parenting penguins fitted with GPS trackers recording the length and depth of their dives provided the team with information on the birds’ hunting strategies. They matched those results with data from a set of “hydro-acoustic surveys” within 20 kilometers (12 miles) of Robben Island over the same time period. This approach involved using an echo sounder to launch sound waves into the water. The way in which the waves bounced back allowed the researchers to estimate the abundance of sardines and anchovies.The team also logged the diets of 83 penguins and measured the weights of 569 chicks.An adult African penguin approaching a school of pelagic fish. Image by Alistair McInnes courtesy of the British Ecological Society.Perhaps unsurprisingly, the chicks didn’t do as well when fish weren’t as numerous. The GPS-tracker data showed that their parents had to work harder and travel farther in search of prey during these periods. But those changes affected individual penguins in different ways.“While some ‘superstar’ penguins find food easily, others are less successful,” Sherley said.As the fish abundance declined, the scientists observed a wider variety of tactics, possibly caused by different approaches needed to catch prey that were more spread out or because they were going after a range of fish species — instead of the anchovies and sardines that typically sustain penguins — requiring a different set of maneuvers to capture.A breeding pair of African penguins at the Robben Island colony. Image by R.B. Sherley/University of Exeter courtesy of the British Ecological Society.This link between prey abundance in the sea and the condition of penguin chicks on land could serve as an indicator of changes in the ecosystem, the authors write, potentially helping fisheries managers take seabirds and their nutritional requirements into account in decision-making.“Since these short-term changes will likely have knock-on effects for chick survival and penguin population size, they could be used as powerful early warning signs to inform fisheries’ policies and marine conservation efforts,” Campbell said. “Hopefully, in the future, we could aim to effectively balance fishery management with penguins’ needs, to reduce the impact on local economies whilst maximising the benefits to our oceans.”Banner image of an adult African penguin by R.B. Sherley.CitationsBirdLife International. (2018). Spheniscus demersus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T22697810A132604504. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T22697810A132604504.en. Downloaded on 22 May 2019.Campbell, K. J., Steinfurth, A., Underhill, L. G., Coetzee, J. C., Dyer, B. M., Ludynia, K., … Sherley, R. B. (2019). Local forage fish abundance influences foraging effort and offspring condition in an endangered marine predator. Journal of Applied Ecology. doi:10.1111/1365-2664.13409FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.