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    Cycles of Euphausia superba recruitment evident in the diet of Pygoscelid penguins and net trawls in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica

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    A. Miller and W. Trivelpiece (USA)
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    Size and sex of Antarctic krill taken from chinstrap and gentoo penguin diet were compared to those from scientific net surveys in the South Shetland Islands from 1998-2006 in order to evaluate penguin diet as a sampling mechanism and to look at trends in krill populations. Both penguin diet and net samples revealed a 4-5 year cycle in krill recruitment with one or two strong cohorts sustaining the population during each cycle. Penguin diet samples contained adult krill of similar lengths to those caught in nets; however, penguins rarely took juvenile krill. Penguin diet samples contained proportionately more females when the krill population was dominated by large adults at the end of the cycles; net samples showed greater proportions of males in these years. These patterns are comparable to those reported elsewhere in the region and are likely driven by the availability of different sizes and sexes of krill in relation to the colony.