• Scientists studying penguins discover #1 risk to penguins is scientists studying penguins
    35 replies, posted
[url]http://www.npr.org/2011/01/12/132859946/flipper-bands-can-harm-king-penguin-population[/url] [release]There's nothing quite like a day at the beach with a few thousand penguins. Every year about this time, penguins congregate in the far Southern Hemisphere to build nests and raise families. You'll also find biologists there, wrapping tags on the penguins' flippers so they can follow those birds for life. Think of it like this: If you had a speedboat or something and then you took one of your bands and then you stuck it to a propeller, would you expect the boat to perform in the same way? - Rory Wilson, professor of aquatic biology, Swansea University But some scientists now say tagging is too harmful because it undercuts a penguin's most important skill: swimming. I was lucky enough to watch penguins swimming from a cliff overlooking an Argentine beach where thousands of Magellanic penguins had gathered. Like awkward mannequins, they waddled down to the water. But when they dived in, they were transformed into black and white torpedoes. Rory Wilson has watched penguins for 30 years. "Even people who work on penguins don't appreciate how stunning they are underwater, how maneuverable and how fast," he says. "You know, they are just — it's hard to describe it." Slowing Down The Penguins Wilson and other scientists have shown that penguins have a very, very low coefficient of drag, which is a mathematical measure of how well a body moves through air or water. "If you were shaped like a penguin," Wilson says, "you could kick off the side of a swimming pool and just go yards and yards and yards." But Wilson and other biologists say some tags seemed to increase drag and slow down penguins. These tags can be plastic, aluminum or other kinds of metal, and they are usually about an inch wide, a few inches long and wrap around the narrow base of a flipper. It's hard to imagine they'd slow down a penguin, but Wilson, from Swansea University in Great Britain, says they do. "Think of it like this: If you had a speedboat or something and then you took one of your bands and then you stuck it to a propeller, would you expect the boat to perform in the same way?" he says. Effects On Survival And Breeding And now a research team from the University of Strasbourg in France has evidence to back up what Wilson has seen. The French team put traditional metal bands on 50 King penguins that live near Antarctica. Fifty others had much smaller radio-frequency transponders. Ten years later, the survival rate for banded birds was 16 percent below the unbanded birds. Yvon Le Maho, the chief biologist, says at first there was little effect. Then during the first 4.5 years, survival rates for the banded birds dropped about 30 percent below the unbanded birds. "In other words, only the superathletes are surviving," Le Maho says. The numbers were worse for breeding — banded birds produced 39 percent fewer chicks. Le Maho found that banded birds took longer to forage for food in the ocean and they were slower to get to breeding sites in the spring. That meant adults had less time to raise their chicks before heading off for lengthy foraging trips in the winter. "At some time, they have to leave while their chick is too young and too poor in [reserves of] body fuels to withstand the winter," Le Maho says. Researchers are interested in tracking individual members of penguin colonies to best assess reproductive and survival rates. But they want to do that in a way that minimizes harm to the animal. Researchers are interested in tracking individual members of penguin colonies to best assess reproductive and survival rates. But they want to do that in a way that minimizes harm to the animal. 'All Bands Are Not Created Equal' The study appears in the journal Nature, but the verdict on tags is by no means clear. Other scientists say they have different results. Among the world's leading penguin experts is Dee Boersma, at the University of Washington. The French study, she says, "shows that the bands that they used on King penguins harmed the King penguins — I have no doubt about that. But all bands are not created equal. It depends on what material that they are made of, it depends on how they are shaped, it depends on how they are fitted to the individual penguin. It depends on what penguin species it is." Boersma has also studied bands on Magellanic penguins she's followed for some 30 years in Argentina. Aluminum bands were harmful, but stainless steel ones were fine. She says eliminating all tags would be throwing the baby out with the bath water. "In almost all cases, whenever we do science, we would like to do no harm," she says. "But in fact we do have to do some harm if we want to follow individuals." Following individual penguins is increasingly important — they are sentinel species that are likely to show the first effects of climate change. And biologists agree they don't want to blame climate change for some effect that's really caused by a bad flipper band.[/release]
Maybe they should study the penguins more just to be sure
it's not really studying, but tagging that is hurting them, and i've always thought tagging was dumb anyway because you're fucking sticking shit through an animals skin and letting it hang off of them, you don't think if someone did that to you that you'd be more clumsy?
This sounded like some sort of Onion news article, I was disappointed :(
I-rony... :rolleye:
not only doe it slow them down but it makes them get less penguin pussy!' horrible i say
[QUOTE=LoLWaT?;27399827]I-rony... :rolleye:[/QUOTE] It would be irony if scientists attempting to save penguins was the #1 risk to penguins, not this
I think scientists need to keep looking into this issue before they wipe out the last of those birds.
[QUOTE=privatesmily;27399890]not only doe it slow them down but it makes them get less penguin pussy!' horrible i say[/QUOTE] All of your posts are horrible
[img]http://media.schadenfreude.net/2009/06/irony6.jpg[/img]
Department of Redundancy Department anyone?
[quote]"in other words, only the superathletes are surviving," le maho says.[/quote] so many posibilitiesssssssssssssssss
only ze pingwin zuper race will survive!
They should send a team to study the scientists studying the penguins to study the effects of studying penguins.
[QUOTE=Sir Tristan;27399269]it's not really studying, but tagging that is hurting them, and i've always thought tagging was dumb anyway because you're fucking sticking shit through an animals skin and letting it hang off of them, you don't think if someone did that to you that you'd be more clumsy?[/QUOTE] Some shark tags are bolted on permanently to their dorsal fin. Though shark fins are made up of cartilage and have no nerves, so they can't even feel them. [img_thumb]http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/4476/16rjdphoto42.jpg[/img_thumb] Though I have reservations with tagging other animals. Unless it's noninvasive then I don't think they should be tagged.
Yo dawg, we heard you like studying penguins, so we made the subject of your study about penguins the study of penguins.
If we stop studying penguins, how will we know if they improve?
We don't. We leave them to it, it is nature.
Learn facial recognition for penguins.
Just remove the tags and all will be well.
:psyboom:
I like penguins. They are black and white.
[QUOTE=gamefreek76;27414564]I like penguins. They are black and white.[/QUOTE] I like em because them little shits got flippers.
How unexpected.
They don't use tags. They put metal bands around their foot which produces drag while swimming, therefore making them work harder.
:irony:
Dam what a tongue twister.
:ohdear:
[QUOTE=GrabbinPills;27402508]so many posibilitiesssssssssssssssss[/QUOTE] penguin army
For a moment there I read "Scientists studying penguins discover, penguins studying scientists" :byodood:
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