Hello All. I hope everyone is enjoying their summer! As many of you know, Yellow Group was working on helping the Arctic by adopting a penguin. We have named him Pablo and he was adopted today! Please check back to see pictures of Pablo and follow along to enjoy his adventures. Have a wonderful summer!
Please see below for a message from Dr. Mike Bingham about Pablo!
You have been enrolled under our penguin adoption programme, and your
penguin has been given the name Pablo.
Your adopted penguin is a Magellanic penguin of about 5 years old.
Magellanic penguins are only found around southern South America in Chile,
Argentina and the Falkland Islands. Each year we monitor population changes
at selected breeding sites throughout their breeding range, and the money
raised through our penguin adoption programme pays for this work.
Click on each link for more information on each of our study sites.
At the beginning of each breeding season we visit our selected study sites
and examine each and every nest to see how many breeding pairs are in the
colony. This allows us to record any population changes, since Magellanic
penguins return to the same colony to breed each year. This work has
revealed a 90% population decline over the last 20 years in the Falkland
Islands, whilst populations in nearby Chile and Argentina have increased.
As well as population studies, we also visit and monitor all our adopted
penguins on a regular basis throughout the season to follow their individual
progress. By monitoring penguins over a number of years we are able to spot
differences in breeding success, and find the causes of population decline.
Our studies have shown that in the Falkland Islands, breeding success is
much lower than in nearby Chile and Argentina, due to chick starvation in
the Falklands. Chick survival in the Falklands is less than one third of
that of Chile and Argentina because commercial fishing around the Falklands
makes it hard for penguins to find food for their chicks.
In Chile and Argentina, where commercial fishing is banned close to penguin
colonies, chicks are fed every 12 to 14 hours. In the Falklands, where there
is no such protection from commercial fishing, chicks are fed every 34
hours. The lower abundance of food resulting from commercial fishing means
that adult penguins must spend over twice as long finding food to feed their
chicks in the Falklands. As a result, chicks in the Falklands receive less
than half the amount of food, so few chicks survive, leading to population
In September 2000, members of the International Penguin Conservation Work
Group passed a resolution calling for no-fishing zones around penguin
breeding sites in the Falkland Islands, as has been done in Chile and
Argentina. Unfortunately the Falkland Islands Government have refused to
honour this, despite the decline in penguin numbers.
Another potential threat to penguins is tourism, however our studies into
the effects of tourism show no differences in breeding success for sites
visited by tourists and those which are not. This is good news for anyone
wishing to visit their penguin. They can be confident that their visit will
not cause disturbance, and that we are monitoring the affects of tourism on
Some more information about Pablo and the Magellanic Penguins at this link: PenguinBook