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Wildlife & Ecosystems

Trailing Penguins in Patagonia

How exactly do penguins find food at sea, and how does it impact their young? Be among the first to investigate.


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The facts

Why the research is important

Why the research is important

This penguin colony provides a great opportunity to examine how foraging behavior shapes the fate of penguin chicks.

By joining the research on this Patagonian penguin rookery, you will help discover what kind of feeding behavior keeps these birds healthy.

penguin-research

Get hands-on with these charismatic birds.

Scientists selected this particular colony as the focus of their work because it’s in the center of penguin colonies along the coast of Patagonia. So far, their research has shown that penguins to the north and south of the focal colony seem better fed and healthier, while those to the center have higher chick mortality and generally less healthy chicks.

Their theory? Northern and southern penguins have more nearby food sources than the penguins along the center, which have to swim further expending more energy to get to their distant prey. This means the penguins in the middle colonies are also leaving their chicks unsupervised for longer periods of time, and bringing home fewer meals when they do come back to the colony.

By studying the colony in the middle, scientists can investigate factors that could be helping or harming colonies on either side. They will also study how the food availability and proximity impacts the survival and health of penguin chicks. With this information, these researchers can identify the areas of the ocean that should get government protection to keep essential penguin habitats safe.

About the research area

Chubut, Patagonia, Argentina, South America

Daily life in the field

Itinerary

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The Scientists

MEET THE LEAD SCIENTIST

Flavio
Quintana

ABOUT Flavio Quintana

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Accommodations and Food

Accommodations and Food

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