Effects of long-term implanted data loggers on macaroni penguins Eudyptes chrysolophus
We tested the hypothesis that implanted data loggers have no
effect on the survival, breeding success and behaviour of macaroni penguins Eudyptes chrysolophus . Seventy penguins were implanted with heart rate data loggers (DLs) for periods of up to 15 months. When compared to control groups, implanted penguins showed no significant difference in over-wintering survival rates, arrival date and mass at the beginning of the breeding season. Later in the breeding season, implanted penguins showed no significant difference in the duration of their incubation foraging trip, breeding success, fledging mass of their chicks, date of arrival to moult and mass at the beginning of the moult fast.
We conclude that implanted devices had no effects on the
behaviour, breeding success and survival of this species. We
contrast these results to those from studies using externally attached devices, which commonly affect the behaviour of penguins. We suggest that implanted devices should be considered as an alternative to externally attached devices in order to obtain the most accurate representation of the freeranging behaviour, ecology and physiology of penguins.
Authors: Green, Jonathan A., Tanton, Jane Lynda, Woakes, Anthony J., Boyd, Ian L., Butler, Patrick J.