Just in time for Penguin Awareness Day (Thursday, January 20), the Argentina Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) program released an amazing underwater selfie video recently captured by a male Gentoo Penguin equipped with a special camera.
The images show the penguin repeatedly diving and wriggling through schools of sardines with astonishing speed and agility. Several times he grabs individual sardines and gobbles them up. Other penguins can also be seen in the distance, along with diving cormorants and albatross.
The images were taken in the Beagle Channel near Isla Martillo, in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, where WCS has supported penguin conservation for more than 20 years.
The camera was donated by the Tawaki Project (pengu.cam) and was placed on the Gentoo Penguin by a team from CADIC-CONICET, as part of a joint study on food ecology conducted by WCS Argentina, together with Antarctic Research Trust, and Tawaki Projection. The study compares the feeding ecology of Gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis papua) of Argentina and the yellow-eyed penguin (Megadyptes antipodes) of New Zealand.
Gentoo penguins usually forage near the seabed for their food, but the images show that if they come across a school of baitfish along the way, they won’t miss the opportunity to feed on it.
Said Andrea Raya Rey, WCS Argentina associate researcher and staff at CADIC-CONICET: “We were fascinated to see how the seabird community of the Beagle Channel fed on this amazing school of sardines. We wrote in many papers that the seabird community in the Beagle Channel relies on it. sardines, but this is the real proof, and now it’s confirmed and with a star behind the camera: the penguin.”
Raya Rey added: “We only attached the device for one foraging trip, and on the penguin’s return we detached the device and monitored the nest’s breeding success. The Gentoo continued with its parental duties and looked after the offspring.”
WCS is working to conserve penguins in the southern cone region of South America. It promotes the establishment and effective management of marine and coastal protected areas to conserve penguins. In addition, WCS works with integrated land management practices that improve the protection of breeding colonies on private lands. WCS has been collaborating for over thirty years monitoring the population of Magellanic Penguins in Argentina and studying the food needs and marine space utilization of various species (rockhopper, mule, magellanic) throughout Patagonia to aid spatial planning of the promote the sea.
In addition to its field conservation work, WCS has seven species of penguins in three of New York City’s five wildlife parks: Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, and New York Aquarium. The Polar Circle exhibit at the Central Park Zoo features king, gentoo, chinstrap, and macaroni penguins. The Bronx Zoo has Magellanic and Little Blue Penguins in the Aquatic Bird House and Sea Bird Aviary, and African Black-footed Penguins can be seen at the New York Aquarium.
Penguins benefit from extensive maritime zone
Provided by Wildlife Conservation Society
Quote: Penguin takes amazing selfie video of his diving and feeding activity (2022, January 19) retrieved January 19, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-01-penguin-astounding-selfie-video.html
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