The population of the Southern Rockhopper Penguin around South America has experienced variable trends over recent decades (1). Their breeding pair numbers on the Falkland Islands have declined dramatically, falling by more than 80% since the early 1930s (2), but there are indications for a stabilising trend, although numbers are still fluctuating extensively (3, 4). Comparative investigations into the ecology of Rockhoppers from the Falkalnds and from Staten Island, Argentina, have shown that the two populations differ in their diving behaviour (5) and their foraging areas during austral summer (6) and, in particular, over the winter period (7, 8, 9). The diving behaviour of Rockhoppers from Isla Noir in Chile differed as well, indicating the potential for adaptations to the respective environments (10). This research has indicated that especially Rockhoppers from the Falklands are increasingly threatened by human activities such as fishing and oil exploration and exploitation (11), which is currently futher investigated at the Falklands in a long-term project.

rhp_q1&q4

Rockhopper dispersal in spring & summer

Rockie dispersal

Rockhopper dispersal in winter

 

 

 

  • (1) Pütz, K., A. Raya Rey and H. Otley (2013) Southern Rockhopper Penguin.Pp 113-129 in: García Borboroglu, P.G. & P.D. Boersma (eds.) Penguins – Natural History and Conservation. University of Washington Press, Seattle U.S.A. ISBN 978-0-295-99284-6
  • (2) Pütz, K., A.P. Clausen, N. Huin & J.P. Croxall (2003) Re-evaluation of historical Rockhopper Penguin population data in the Falkland Islands. Waterbirds 26: 169-175
  • (3) Pütz, K., R.J. Ingham, J.G. Smith & J.P. Croxall (2001) Population trends, breeding success and diet composition of gentoo Pygoscelis papua, magellanic Spheniscus magellanicus and rockhopper Eudyptes chrysocome penguins in the Falkland Islands. Polar Biology 24: 793-807
  • (4) Clausen, A.P. & K. Pütz (2002) Recent trends in diet composition and productivity of Gentoo, Magellanic and Rockhopper Penguins in the Falkland Islands. Aquatic Conservation 12: 51-61
  • (5) Pütz, K., A. Raya Rey, N. Huin, A. Schiavini, A. Pütz & B.H. Lüthi (2006) Diving characteristics of Southern Rockhopper Penguins (Eudyptes c. chrysocome) in the Southwest Atlantic. Marine Biology 149: 125-137
  • (6) Pütz, K., J.G. Smith, R.J. Ingham & B.H. Lüthi (2003) Satellite tracking of male Rockhopper Penguins during the incubation period in the Falkland Islands. Journal of Avian Biology 34: 139-144
  • (7) Pütz, K., J.G. Smith, R.J. Ingham & B.H. Lüthi (2002) Winter dispersal of Rockhopper Penguins Eudyptes chrysocome from the Falkland Islands and its implications for conservation. Marine Ecology Progress Series 240: 273-284
  • (8) Pütz, K., A. Raya Rey, A. Schiavini, A.P. Clausen & B.H. Lüthi (2006) Winter migration of Rockhopper Penguins (Eudyptes c. chrysocome) breeding in the Southwest Atlantic: Is utilisation of different foraging areas reflected in opposing population trends? Polar Biology 29: 735-744
  • (9) Raya Rey, A., P. Trathan, K. Pütz & A. Schiavini (2007) Effect of oceanographic conditions on the winter movements of rockhopper penguins Eudyptes chrysocome chrysocome from Staten Island, Argentina. Marine Ecology Progress Series 330: 285-295
  • (10) Raya Rey, R., K. Pütz, G. Luna-Jorquera, B.H. Lüthi & A. Schiavini (2009) Diving patterns of breeding female rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes chrysocome): Noir Island, Chile. Polar Biology 32(4): 561-568
  • (11) Trathan, P.N., P. García-Borboroglu, P.D. Boersma, C.A. Bost, R.J.M. Crawford, G.T. Crossin, R.J. Cuthbert, P. Dann, L.S. Davis, S. de la Puente, U. Ellenberg, H.J. Lynch, T. Mattern, K. Pütz, P.J. Seddon, W. Trivelpiece & B. Wienecke (2014) Pollution, habitat loss, fishing and climate change as critical threats to penguins. Conservation Biology DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12349