Diet of Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae): Past, Present and Future
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) are a numerous species of Antarctic penguins. Many studies have examined their diet, both past and present using a variety of methods. However, the conclusions that can be drawn from these studies are limited by the fact that these studies are limited to specific time of the year and the areas which have been studied. Most authors agree that in the past Adélie penguin diets were predominately fish-based, whereas currently the diets are krillbased. Adélie penguins (and their prey) have a strong relationship with the sea-ice. Given that changes in climate and levels of competition have resulted in prey-switching in the past it could be speculated that a change will happen again due to recent climatic and competition changes and what the consequences of this might be. Few studies have given much thought as to how likely this change is. However, researchers are divided as to whether these changes are likely and what the main causes of these changes are. There seems to be much uncertainty surrounding the diet of Adélie penguins, particularly in regards to their diet in the future. Further studies are needed to further reduce this uncertainty.
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