Chevy Chase, Maryland
Supporting Stations: Special Project
Research Locations: Antarctic Peninsula
This is the final year of a five-year award to characterize decadal scale changes in penguin and seabird populations on the Antarctic Peninsula. Discerning how Antarctic species are changing in abundance and relative abundance, and more importantly, identifying the factors driving these long-term changes, are key steps toward improved understanding of the Antarctic ecosystem. This understanding is essential for effective stewardship of Antarctica’s unique resources. The project entails two interconnected research activities: (1) Continued long-term monitoring and censusing of penguin and seabird populations including access to and landings at census sites, and (2) Synthesis and quantitative analyses of datasets detailing long-term changes in five penguin and seabird species from diverse sites throughout the Antarctic Peninsula. When complete, the penguin/seabird database will incorporate data from a variety of sources including ASI (Antarctic Site Inventory), CCAMLR (Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources), US AMLR (US Antarctic Marine Living Resources), Palmer LTER (Long Term Ecological Research), British and Argentine researchers, historic census data compiled by SCAR (Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, and, when possible, additional privately held datasets.
Field Season Overview:
As in the past, this year’s monitoring work and data collection will involve collaborations with a variety of logistics providers and tour operators. More than 142 census locations in the Antarctic Peninsula have been visited. This field season, researchers will focus on censusing extant and emerging gentoo penguin colonies south of Lemaire Channel, and on filling the current "data gap" in the Weddell Sea. The eight project team members will travel on tour ships in the Antarctic Peninsula.
Deploying Team Members:
Heather Lynch (Co-PI)
Ron Naveen (PI)