We did a second day of aerial surveys for emperor penguin colonies. This time we headed north to assess the colonies of:
Franklin Island (the smudges are the birds)
Coulman Island, (it doesn’t look it, but we think that there are 25,000+ chicks down there. this picure was taken from far away.)
and Cape Roget.
Cape Washington, in particular, was very spread out, so it is difficult to make a “guesstimate” of its size, but we think it was a bit smaller than normal. Coulman Island, however, had a huge number of birds. Both Franklin Island and Cape Roget had roughly the expected numbers.
This is the first time in 15-20 years that all seven colonies (the other three are Cape Crozier, Cape Colbeck, and Beaufort Island, which were shown earlier) of the Ross Sea were surveyed. It appears that the emperor penguin is holding its own. Some colonies have declined, but some have increased.
Kathi and Kozue