Gentoo penguin at Port Lockroy, Antarctica

15 12 2009

Adult Gentoo penguin, photographed near the Port Lockroy Station A at Port Lockroy, a harbor on the Antarctica Peninsula of the British Antarctic Territory. Just a few years before my trip, Port Lockroy was renovated. Operated by the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust, it is now a museum and post office. Gentoo penguins were plentiful on almost every stop we made on this trip.

From Wikipedia: A major experiment on the island is to test the effect of tourism on penguins. Half the island is open to tourists, while the other half is reserved for penguins. So far, interestingly, the results show that tourism has a slight positive effect on penguins, possibly due to the presence of people being a deterrent to skuas—Antarctic birds that prey on penguin chicks and eggs.

Speaking of skuas—I did get some photos of those birds, but fervently hoped I wouldn’t witness one dragging off a lone chick. I’m happy to report no Gentoo chicks were skua-napped on my watch (not that I could have done anything about it—but still…) 35mm slide scanned by ScanCafe.com

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