king penguins
25.04.2019 Animal tracking applications

King penguins: Long-distance champion

The research team at Centre d’Etudes Biologiques de Chizé (CEBC-CNRS) has been using the Argos system since the 1990s to study penguins on Crozet and Kerguelen Islands. One of the researchers from the team, Charles-André Bost, began using the Argos system in 1994 to learn more about the foraging strategies of diving birds and study the behavioral response of marine predators to climate change. In honor of World Penguin Day, he shared a few fun facts about his work with Argos over the years. 

 

Longest distance swum by a king penguin

One of the king penguins tracked by the CEBC-CNRS holds the record for the longest distance swum by a penguin. This voyage of 12, 259 km, revealed by the Argos sysetm, took place over 272 days. To learn more about this trip, and the behavior of the young king penguin who undertook it, check out the forthcoming article in Movement Ecology [Orgeret and Bost, 2019, in press].

Many different species studied

The first research projects undertaken by the CNRS research teams were on Crozet Island, in the Indian Ocean. Since then, the team has continued to diversify the species it studies. Here are a few key figures:

King penguin : +400 tracked with Argos since 1994

king penguin

Macaroni penguin : 25 individuals tracked with Argos

macaroni penguin

Eastern rockhopper: 20 individuals tracked with Argos

eastern rockhopper

Northern rockhopper: 20 individuals tracked with Argos

northern rockhopper

Adélie : 18 individuals tracked with Argos

Adélie penguin

Gentoo : 6 individuals tracked with Argos