Here’s to trying…

So, I’m having a miserable time trying to find information on what I want it on. I’ve been searching high and low for relevant data but as of yet no luck, this is really turning out to be harder than I imagined.

I have found a paper titled ‘Use of at-seadistribution data to derive potential foraging ranges of macaroni penguins during breeding season’ which is part of the Marine Ecology Progress Series. This talks about where they go to feed, how long for and colony sizes, this is a good basis for deciding on what I want in my final outcome. The paper itself is informative but extremely hard for the ‘general public’ including myself to understand fully, it’s full of different data which has shown me as to what information I could perhaps come across.

The example below is a chart taken from the paper showing area and population.


Below is a map of the study area (South Georgia) depicting where major macaroni penguin breeding concentrations are located using the labels from the table.

Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 13.11.56

This paper is full of all sorts of charts and graphs each suited for that particular data set. It’s interesting to see how many different examples are used throughout the paper.

Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 13.47.36

Distance they travel to feed

Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 13.50.28

The depth in which the dive

Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 13.50.00

I need to begin focusing on the types that I am most interested in looking further into such as, the Emperor, King, Adelie.

Anyhow, I’ve been looking at penguin research centres around the world (particularly Antarctica as this is where my favourite penguins are) to look for interesting information and I’ve seen a few bits I like but I need to go back and take a closer look, also I’ve given into the idea that I am not going to find what I want which has lead to me to emailing a number of penguin/aquatic/zoology professors, centres and specialists, now here’s to hoping that I get a reply to my plea, I did pretend that I was a bit posh and could speak real english and not northern slang…. FINGERS CROSSED!!!!!! In the mean time I’m going to watch David Attenborough’s ‘The Bachelor King’, it’s the best documentary film of all time… Penguins and Sir David at the same time, this time though it’s not for pleasure, it’s for research!!


The Bachelor King


  1. The research and stories that you are looking for are there, it just takes time and patience to identify them. Did you come across the research below?

    Penguin poo (guano) stains, visible from space, have helped British scientists locate emperor penguin breeding colonies in Antarctica. Knowing their location provides a baseline for monitoring their response to environmental change.

    found at

    which led to this research:

    Penguins from space: Faecal stains reveal the location of emperor penguin colonies by Peter T. Fretwell and Philip N. Trathan is published this month in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography.

    Satellite images were downloaded from the International Polar Year project the Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA). LIMA is a seamless, cloud free mosaic of Landsat ETM scenes all acquired between 1999 and 2004, and covers the whole of the continent. The authors estimate that 85–95% of the Antarctic coast was surveyed using suitable satellite imagery to locate the colonies. For further information visit
    Previous knowledge on the number and distribution of emperor penguin colonies was poor, due to their habit of breeding on sea-ice during the Antarctic winter. These areas are infrequently visited during the Antarctic summer when researchers can access them although the penguins are away feeding at sea. Estimates of the total number of emperor penguins range between 200,000 – 400,000 pairs.
    Of the 38 colonies located on the continent in this study, 10 are new, six have been re-positioned and six that were previously thought to exist were not found or have disappeared. These six colonies were originally recorded north of 70° South which helps substantiate other modeling studies and suggests that emperor penguins around Antarctica are at significant risk from climate change.
    Few colonies are monitored on an annual basis. This study concentrates on the number and location of emperor penguin colonies; other techniques are necessary to provide accurate counts within these colonies. The next stage of this research will be to use high resolution satellite data to count up the penguins at each of the 38 colonies.
    Recent computer modelling studies (Jenouvrier et al 2009, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), based on over 40 years of population data from a long term study colony of emperor penguins in Terre Adélie in the Antarctic, have predicted that populations have a high probability of declining by 95% or more in the face of climate change. These predictions are based on one colony that is located relatively far north at 66.6° South. The new methods developed in the study by Fretwell and Trathan make it possible to test these predictions at other locations where emperor penguins breed, particularly further South where the majority of emperor penguin colonies occur.

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