Studies related to the abundance and reproductive distribution of marine birds have the potential to act as ecological indicators. The western Antarctic Peninsula is one of the three sites in the world with some of the clearest signals of climate warming. The aim of this study was to monitor the distribution and abundance of breeding populations of chinstrap penguin (Pygoscelis antarctica) and gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua) in the northern sector of the Danco Coast, north-west of the Antarctic Peninsula during the breeding season 2010-2011. Our results showed an overall increase in both populations in relation the 1998. Since the effects of climate change and human harvesting could confound underlying ecological mechanisms, this study highlights the need to strengthen population monitoring studies.
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Sarah Mackey (Secrétariat de la CCAMLR)