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 approaches for flying seabirds but revised according to the specific ecology of Pygoscelis penguin species. 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, precautionary, management framework for krill fisheries.


Publication status:
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.

On this site: Harriet Clewlow, Norman Ratcliffe, Phil Trathan, Victoria Warwick-Evans
1 November, 2018
Ecology and Evolution / 8
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