Metadata record for data from ASAC Project 484 See the link below for public details on this project.
---- Public Summary from Project ---- Emperor penguins are the only birds that breed in the Antarctic winter. They feed mainly on fish and squid but also ingest krill. Changes in food availability due to oceanographic or climatic factors, or to the extent of sea ice (through the processes of global warming) will have a direct impact on the breeding success and population size of the penguins. By counting the number of males that incubate at mid-winter each year, we can monitor trends in their population size. Counts of fledglings in spring (November) tell us how successful the penguins bred.
The download file contains an excel spreadsheet which presents a summary of known Emperor Penguin colonies in the area of the Australian Antarctic Territory (AAT), and a file which details counts of male emperor penguins at the Taylor Glacier colony.
A description of the column headings used in the spreadsheet is below.
Colony: Colony name
lat, long: latitude and longitude of colony
discovered: date colony was discovered
current est pop (BP): Current estimated population size in breeding pairs - current as at date the colony was last seen
last seen: date the colony was last seen
counting method: method used to count the breeding pairs in the colony
comments: any applicable comments
reference: references relating to the colony
Taken from the 2009-2010 Progress Report: Public summary of the season progress: Population size of colonies fluctuates which is why long term monitoring studies are necessary to detect trends. At the emperor penguin colony at Taylor Glacier, monitored continuously since 1988, a slight downward trend is apparent but is not (yet?) statistically significant. The colony was visited three times: once in winter to obtain an estimate of the number of adults in the colony (roughly equivalent to the number of breeding pairs), and twice during the late chick rearing season to estimate breeding success. The count of adults in 2009 was the lowest on record. Reasons for this are still unknown.