Identification of marine important bird and biodiversity areas for penguins around the South Shetland Islands and South Orkney Islands
Aim: To provide a method of analyzing penguin tracking data to identify priority at-sea
areas for seabird conservation (marine IBAs), based on pre-existing
for flying seabirds but revised according to the specific ecology of Pygoscelis penguin
Location: Waters around the Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland, and South Orkney
archipelagos (FAO Subareas 48.1 and 48.2).
Methods: We made key improvements to the pre-existing
protocol for identifying
marine IBAs that include refining the track interpolation method and revision of parameters
for the kernel analysis (smoothing factor and utilization distribution) using
sensitivity tests. We applied the revised method to 24 datasets of tracking data on
penguins (three species, seven colonies, and three different breeding stages—incubation,
brood, and crèche).
Results: We identified five new marine IBAs for seabirds in the study area, estimated
to hold ca. 600,000 adult penguins.
Main conclusions: The results demonstrate the efficacy of a new method for the
designation of a network of marine IBAs in Antarctic waters for penguins based on
tracking data, which can contribute to an evidence-based,
framework for krill fisheries.
Authors: Dias, Maria P., Carneiro, Ana Paula Bertoldi, Warwick-Evans, Victoria, Harris, Colin, Lorenz, Katharina, Lascelles, Ben, Clewlow, Harriet L., Dunn, Michael J., Hinke, Jefferson T., Kim, Jeong-Hoon, Kokubun, Nobuo, Manco, Fabrizio, Ratcliffe, Norman, Santos, Mercedes, Takahashi, Akinori, Trivelpiece, Wayne, Trathan, Philip N.