Feb 9, 2017

Metapopulation Tracking Juvenile Penguins Reveals an Ecosystem-wide Ecological Trap

by
Richard B. Sherley, Katrin Ludynia, Bruce M. Dyer, Tarron Lamont, Azwianewi B. Makhado, Jean-Paul Roux, Kylie L. Scales, Les G. Underhill, Stephen C. Votier
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Current Biology
  • Tracks postnatal dispersal in African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) from eight sites across their breeding range to test whether they have become ecologically trapped in the degraded Benguela ecosystem
  • Finds that climate change and industrial fishing have depleted forage fish stocks in this system
  • Finds that juvenile penguin survival is low in populations selecting degraded areas, and Bayesian projection models suggest that breeding numbers are ∼50% lower than if non-impacted habitats were used, revealing the extent and effect of a marine ecological trap for the first time