King Penguins Stressed Out By Scientists And Tourists
King penguins are the second largest species of penguin (Credit: V.Viblanc/IPEV)
In 1961, a group of scientists set up a permanent camp on Possession Island, a bit of land located in the Crozet Archipelago, about halfway between Madagascar and Antarctica in the Indian Ocean. Their goal was a long-term study of king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus), and scientists have continued that study for more than 50 years, sometimes accompanied by a small number of tourists. The penguins appear to be habituated to the presence of humans, but a new study in BMC Ecology finds that even this limited human contact may be negatively affecting them.
A team of researchers from France and Switzerland compared 15 king penguins from the areas regularly disturbed by scientists and tourists with 18 birds... [via Smithsonianmag - Science]