Help Us Track Penguins
Satellite tracking allows us to compare individuals between years and to see differences in how oceanographic conditions affect individuals. Satellite tracking research is costly and we depend on individuals for help. If you are interested in sponsoring a penguin or helping fund the project please request more information at our e-mail. Sponsored penguins are called "VIP Penguins" and given a name, chosen by the donor.
Below, you can see interesting stories of sponsored penguins and learn how much one satellite-tracked penguin can teach us about penguins and their environment.
Harry, along with 8 other penguins with satellite transmitters that were last seen at their nest between October 25 and 13 December, failed to return to the colony. All the birds were healthy when they departed and their last known position was over 150km from land. These satellite-tagged birds had chicks and never returned to the colony suggesting they probably died. Harry's last satellite transmition was on December 5th. During this same time period over a thousand sea birds were found dead. Given the timing of the penguin deaths and the fact that they were known to be healthy birds, it is highly likely that the penguins were victims to paralytic shellfish poisoning.
*Shumway, S.E., S.M. Allen and P.D. Boersma. 2003. Marine birds and harmful algal blooms: sporadic victims or under-reported events? Harmful Algae 2: 1-17.
Peach was banded on 5 February 1989, and first nested in 1993 when she was nearly 4 years old. Predators took her eggs in 1994, but Peach learned from these experiences: in both 1995 and 1996 she raised two chicks, and another chick in 1997. In 1998 her eggs didn’t hatch, in 1999 she didn’t bother to breed, and in 2000 she took up with a new mate but raised no chicks. In 2001 she found a new partner and nest. By the time she laid eggs and her mate left, he wasn’t as fat of a fellow as he had been a month earlier. Obviously getting food was important, so he stayed at sea a little too long. Each day Peach waited for his return she wasted away, but her motivation was strong. Not until she was as skinny as a chick did she make a beeline out to sea and abandon her eggs. She gorged herself for 32 days before returning. She found her eggs to be missing and so, fully fattened, she sat in her new nest with her mate.