We aim to investigate the qualitative changes in the habitats of two most common species penguin populations in the Wilhelm Archipelago Pygoscelis papua (gentoo) and Pygoscelis adeliae (Adelie) penguins in the CCAMLR Subarea 48.1 under the impact of climate changes and krill fishery. To minimize the effect of human disturbance on the breeding success and survival of chicks and avoid disturbance to the penguins, the new method of registration using time-lapse cameras have been installed in the penguin colonies for observation breeding success of penguins: arrival to colony, copulation, egg lay, hatch, and creche, has been applied. This method was introduced for the first time in the framework of international CEMP project “Establishing a CEMP Camera Network in Subarea 48.1”. The project timeline is expected more than five years. The traditional visual observation of biologists from time to time has been used as well. Changes in the penguin species habitat have been observed on the territory of the Wilhelm Archipelago. It was observed that at the beginning of the ХХІ century the nesting areas of P. papua was significantly extended probably due to the climate warming in the region. It was shown that P. papua is more ecologically plastic species than P. adeliae. Well-known that the breeding success of penguins can be used as an indication of the status of lower trophic levels. Future development of the penguin nesting colonies monitoring using the CEMP Camera Network under the CCAMLR supervising will contribute significantly to the real-time estimates of relative prey availability. The results of the gentoo and Adelie penguin’s chronology and breeding success studies might be used in the development of the krill fishery management strategy in the CCAMLR for the rational use of Antarctic marine living resources; (2) to develop a resettlement model to predict the ecological risks due to climate changes for both penguin species.
Dr Leonid Pshenichnov (Ukraine)
Dr Kostiantyn Demianenko (Ukraine)
Ukrainian Antarctic Journal, 16 (2018)