Study shows penguins attract seabirds when they corral fish | 9/29/2017 | Staff
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Dive chronology of penguin SP1801: (a) entire foraging trip recorded, (b) enlarged timeslot demarcated as vertical dotted lines in (a), and (c) images from AVRs indexed to time. The number of birds (n birds) in flight and at the surface are shown: Cape cormorants (CC, grey), sooty shearwaters (SS, black) and African penguins (AP, blue). Prey captures by volant seabirds (inter catch, tern = swift tern) and by African penguins (AP catch for schooling and single fish) are superimposed on the dive profile. Images show CC (left panel) and SS (right panel) prey pursuits/catches: sooty shearwaters are located at terminal ends of bubble trails foraging at the periphery of the fish schools. Confirmation of species identification of volant seabirds confirmed from images in sequence not displayed. Credit: Royal Society Open Science (2019).

A pair of researchers with Mandela University has found that when African penguins work together to corral fish, they attract seabirds intent on taking advantage of the suddenly available prey. In their paper published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, Alistair McInnes and Pierre Pistorius describe their multi-year study of African penguins and what they learned about them.

Penguins - Shores - Africa - Levels - Percent

African penguins are the only penguins that live off the shores of Africa, and they are endangered—population levels are 70 percent lower than they were just 15 years ago. Prior studies have shown that the primary reason for their decline is a decrease in their food supply—sardines and anchovies and other small fish. Humans use nets to catch the same...
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