Collection Details

King Penguin census data, Gadget Gully, Macquarie Island (1993-2008)

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©James Doube 2007
Catalogue id
Doube, James

Collection Details

John van den Hoff
Collection Acronym
Ground counts of King Penguin Aptenodytes patagonicuseggs, chicks, fledglings and adults at Gadget Gully on Macquarie Island (1993-2008 incomplete). Counts were obtained in the field by observers at Gadget gully. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when blubber oil fuelled house lamps, the king penguin population at Macquarie Island was reduced from two very large (perhaps hundreds of thousands of birds) colonies to about 3000 birds. One colony, located on the isthmus when the island was discovered in 1810, was extinct by 1894 and it took about 100 years for king penguins to re-establish a viable breeding population there. Here we document this recovery. The first eggs laid at Gadget Gully on the isthmus were recorded in late February 1995 but in subsequent years egg laying took place earlier between November and February (this temporal discontinuity is a consequence of king penguin breeding behaviour). The first chick was hatched in April 1995 but the first fledging was not raised until the following breeding season in October 1996. The colony increased on average 66% per annum in the five years between 1995 and 2000. King penguins appear resilient to catastrophic population reductions, and as the island's population increases, it is likely that other previously abandoned breeding sites will be reoccupied.
Taxa Groups

List 1 taxa from this collection
Collection Status
Data collection complete
Tipping back the balance: recolonization of the Macquarie Island isthmus by king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) following extermination for human gain John van den Hoff, Clive R. McMahon and Iain Field Antarctic Science 21(3) 237-241, doi:10.1017/S0954102009001898, Published Online by Cambridge University Press 10 Mar 2009
DiGIR Details

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Resource Code: - king_gadget_census
Resource Name: - King penguin census data, Gadget Gully, Macquarie Island (1993-2008)
Keywords: - census, king penguins, eggs, counts, chicks
Basis of Record: - Observation

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Linked to the following Bioregions

Subantarctic Island - Macquarie Island

Data Details

Data links
Search the 607 observations belonging to this collection.
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Spatial Coverage
54° 30' 32.4" S to 54° 30' 32.4" S | -54.5090° to -54.5090°
158° 55' 51.6" E to 158° 55' 51.6" E | 158.9310° to 158.9310°
Date Range of Collection
28-Sep-1993 to 1-Aug-2008
King_Penguins_at_GG - Changes in King Penguin numbers at Gadget Gully, Macquarie Island