Adelie penguins as Monitor of the Marine EnviRonment

This program proposal proceeds from the recent international efforts towards long-term monitoring of breeding and at-sea foraging performances of key species serving as eco-indicators of environmental changes. Here, foraging success of these species is linked to physical parameters of their environment and to resource availability. The data collected will consist in identifying the preferred foraging zones of Adélie penguins in Dumont d’Urville, Adélie Land and quantifying the hunting effort according to i) the availability of their main prey, ii) their own ability to find and capture prey, which depends on their individual quality. In partnership with the WWF, these data will be included in the databases of international programs of eco-regionalization (Census of Antarctic Marine Life, SCAR, CCAMLR). Comparisons with Adélie penguins’ performance in other regions of the East Antarctic sector will be conducted, in collaboration with colleagues from Australian and Japanese polar institutes. Following the recommendations of the aforementioned international institutions, the program will put a special emphasis on the examination of the impact of human activities on penguins’ performances through dedicated ecophysiological and behavioural monitoring.