Last updated October 10, 2018

Metapopulation Tracking Juvenile Penguins Reveals an Ecosystem-wide Ecological Trap

  • 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