15 November 2013

Calgary Zoo looks to protect penguins from aspergillosis

On 10 November, staff at the Calgary Zoo made the difficult decision to euthanise a 14-year-old male gentoo penguin Houdini after he had been sick for almost a month.

The results of a necropsy confirmed severe aspergillosis – a fungal infection that affects the respiratory system. It is one of the most common causes of death in captive penguins and has been recorded in wild penguins. 

Was penguin evolution driven by a cooling Antarctic?

By Sankar Subramanian, Griffith University

This article was originally published at The Conversation. Read the original article

Some like it hot: Galapagos penguins
enjoy a tropical climate. ms akr
Penguins are a remarkable group of flightless birds. We tend to think of them as Antarctic birds, but they actually inhabit an extremely diverse range of habitats from subzero Antarctic coastline to the tropical Galapagos Islands. Research we published on 13 November in the Biology Letters gives us new insight into how this diverse group evolved.

There are now 18 recognised species of penguins. All live predominantly in the Southern Hemisphere (those Galapagos penguins being the exception), in a wide range of climates.

10 November 2013

Penguin Island reopens after rat baiting success

AUSTRALIA - Penguin Island, home to Western Australia’s largest little penguin colony, has reopened to visitors after a successful baiting program targeting destructive black rats.

Environment Minister Albert Jacob said up to 5,000 rats had been eliminated from the island, increasing the chances of penguins and other seabirds breeding successfully.

02 November 2013

West Coast little penguins tracked by satellite

NEW ZEALAND - The West Coast Blue Penguin Trust is undertaking a pilot programme to see where little blue penguins go to find food.

The study will use Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking technology to monitor the penguins as they head out into the Tasman Sea to find food for their chicks. Eight tiny GPS units were attached to blue penguins at Charleston in October and their foraging journeys can now be mapped.

The pilot study is the start of a three-year programme. It's the first of its kind undertaken by the West Coast Blue Penguin Trust and the first time blue penguins have been tracked on the West Coast. The goal is to build a more complete picture of penguin foraging patterns over time.