Wednesday, March 21st 2012 - 21:29 UTC

Falklands’ penguin population rising: Gentoo doubled and Rockhopper remains stable

According to the most recent count in the Falklands, the number of Gentoo penguin breeding pairs has doubled when compared with the number counted during the last census in 2005. Rockhopper penguin numbers are reported to be stable.

The Islands have the largest gentoo population in the world and second in Rockhopper penguins (Photo: S. Jaffray)

With the Gentoo population now estimated to be 132,321 breeding pairs, the largest number reported since the first estimate was generated in 1933, the Falkland Islands is likely to be the largest component of the global population.

The report on the 2010 archipelago-wide census of Gentoo and Rockhopper penguins was presented by Falklands Conservation Officer Al Bayliss at Wednesday’s meeting of the Environmental Committee in Stanley.

Mr Bayliss stressed that Gentoo populations typically show substantial inter-annual variation in breeding numbers, adding that the figures contained in the report were estimates.

“Inter-annual variability probably reflects adult birds skipping a breeding season, deferred breeding and lower recruitment related to years of reduced food availability or other environmental perturbations,” which makes detecting systematic changes in population numbers difficult, he told the committee chaired by Legislative Assembly Member Dr. Barry Elsby.

But Mr Bayliss said he felt “very positive” the Gentoo population was indeed on the increase and this had been backed up by reports from most local landowners monitoring rookeries.

The situation with Rockhopper penguins, which the Falklands is estimated to be home to some 36% of the global population (second largest after Chile) has, according to the census, “become stable.”

Mr Bayliss said the population, now estimated to be 319,163 (18,503 breeding pairs) seemed to have recovered to the 2000 estimate, but added there was still no evidence of recovery to the 1930s levels when an estimate of 1.5 million breeding pairs was made.

Mr Bayliss stated in his report that due to a lack of population data for Rockhoppers from the 1930s to 1980s, it was unclear whether the decline was gradual, stepwise or sudden.

However a mass mortality event in 1986 (attributed to the starvation of adult birds during moult) had resulted in further population declines as well as an estimated decline of some 90,000 pairs between 2000 and 2005, likely to have been caused by a harmful algal bloom in 2002

The decline of the Falkland Islands population of Rockhopper penguins mirrored severe population declines at other key Rockhopper penguin populations and implied that broad scale ecosystem changes were likely to be involved, he said.


56 comments Feed

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1 GreekYoghurt (#) Mar 21st, 2012 - 09:51 pm Report abuse
I see the original population of the islands are thriving. More than can be said about Argentina, because they're all dead.
2 briton (#) Mar 21st, 2012 - 10:16 pm Report abuse
These then, should in fact replace the Argies, as they practice what they preach,
peace and harmony

Long live King penguin .
3 Monty69 (#) Mar 21st, 2012 - 11:38 pm Report abuse
That's Dr Bayliss to you. And a PhD from an actual university for real work ;-)
4 Islander1 (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 12:06 am Report abuse
Marcos - come on - where is the diretribe you usually spout from Guru Bingham?
We have penguin numbers up and increasing and excellent fishing for the Loligo squid ( the ones that stay in our zone all year round)for 2nd year in a row as well!
Where does this fit in the Bingham Plan?
5 malen (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 12:23 am Report abuse
they have double, because they count double the same penguin.......
they need to announce this, coming soon the oil exploration, so as to make us believe they care for and oil exploration will make all decresee obviously
6 Monty69 (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 01:18 am Report abuse
5 malen

OMG Malen, you've really hit on something there. How can you count penguins when they ALL LOOK THE SAME????
All those clever people spending their working lives working out how to count penguins accurately and getting their ideas published in peer- reviewed journals, and you had the answer all along; just don't count the same ones twice. Doh. They must feel dumb now.

Why don't you write your ideas up properly and send them off- you might get a PhD by return post. I know a website where you can find the address.
7 Marcos Alejandro (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 02:30 am Report abuse
4 Islander1 Make sure that Lewis Clifton or any of his oil friends are not in charge in anyway of the count.
8 Britninja (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 04:23 am Report abuse
I'm quite surprised we haven't seen the phrase “Imperialist pirate penguins must die!” It would be about as moronic as everything else the Malvinistas come up with.
9 Think (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 05:05 am Report abuse
(3) Monty 96 & (4) Islander1

Congratulations with the recuperation of the penguin population.

As we know, this is mostly due the ”No Fishing Zones” imposed close to the penguin rookeries.

Now, the penguins are able to feed.

These ”No Fishing Zones” were imposed AFTER Dr. Bingham’s whistle- blowing.

It was Dr. Bingham’s proposal to impose those” No Fishing Zones” and, luckily, some intelligent people in the Islands followed his advice.

Dr. Bingham paid a high price for telling the truth but I’m sure he is happy today about the positive results of his work.

A simple thanks to Dr. Bingham would suffice.
10 Monty69 (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 07:29 am Report abuse
9 Think

''As we know, this is mostly due the ”No Fishing Zones” imposed close to the penguin rookeries.'' ??

Al's definitely been wasting his time. He could just have asked you (and Malen).

There are no ''No fishing zones'' around rookeries, as you well know.

I take it that you would support the creation of Marine Protected Areas in the Falkland Islands. Do you think the Argentine government would share your enlightened views?
11 GreekYoghurt (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 07:37 am Report abuse
The argentinians don't give a fork about their own people or environment and yet they show a massive interest in the environmental concern of the Falklands.

Although considerate of them, they should really sort out the rusting car in their own eye, before commenting about the splinter in someone else's.
12 Monty69 (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 07:45 am Report abuse
9 Think

Hold on a minute, Dr Think. Weren't you the one who was promoting the idea of Argentina hoovering up all the fish and squid in the sea? Didn't you say that the penguins were expendable if it meant hurting us?

Or maybe I dreamed it.
13 DennisA (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 09:37 am Report abuse
So global warming isn't making them extinct then?
14 GreekYoghurt (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 10:29 am Report abuse
Falkland's Original Inhabitants: Rockhopper Penguins
Current Population: 319,163
Population gradient: Rising

Argentina's Original Inhabitants: First Nation's People / American Indians
Current Population: 600,000 (1.5% of Population)
Population gradient: Falling rapidly, through poverty and starvation.

Yes, I can see why everyone would be so concerned about the penguins rather than the argentinian indigenous population.
15 geo (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 10:50 am Report abuse
Islas Malvinas penguins are dopinged by viagra ..??
16 GreekYoghurt (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 11:03 am Report abuse
@I'm not sure where Islas Malvinas because it's a fictional place firmly set in the minds of Argentinians. Whether they have pink penguins or blue cows there is yet again, a part of their own perception of their mass delusion.
17 malen (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 12:09 pm Report abuse
Monty it seems to me counting penguins it is not an exact science :)........and very difficult to proove. show how you count them. is it an international organization the one that counted the penguins??
18 Monty69 (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 01:00 pm Report abuse
17 malen
I suggest you type in 'penguin counting methodology' and have a look at some of the different methods used. Falklands penguin counts tend to use a mixture of different methods to improve accuracy.
Our penguin counts are carried out by Falklands Conservation with international and local volunteers and funded and overseen by partner organisitions in several countries. The most recent paper hasn't been published yet. The 2006 census was funded by several international organisations that are beyond reproach in the scientific world;
Also the Important Bird Area research was carried out by Birdlife International, which is a partner organisation to FC, as is the RSPB.

If you are planning to say that the whole thing is made up, then I suggest you spare yourself the embarassment and just don't bother. I assume you know what a peer- reviewed journal is. If not, then educate yourself.

I would add that I went to Saunders Island earlier in the season after a few years, and my comment on arriving at the Neck was 'Bloody hell, that's a lot of penguins'. The landowners confirmed it, and they know better than anyone. It's not scientific, but it's unavaoidable; there are loads of them.
19 GreekYoghurt (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 01:17 pm Report abuse
Malen, what method do you use to count your starving indigenous population? Does an international organization count them?
20 ChrisR (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 02:08 pm Report abuse
We can all imagine that with the exorbitant price of beef in BA, if the Argies ever did get their thieving hands on the Falklands (there are no Malvinas) then the poor old penguins would soon be on the menu.
21 Anti-Fascist (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 02:09 pm Report abuse
Amnesty - Argentina's 10% Amerindian population subject to racist violence, discrimination and imprisonment in THEIR OWN LAND -
22 GreekYoghurt (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 02:14 pm Report abuse
@20 They're not getting their hands on them. No moral or ethical person would let them ruin the Falklands with their poison.

@21 I know... and yet they focus on the plight of the penguins, not their own people. How ironic.
23 zethe (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 02:14 pm Report abuse
“Or maybe I dreamed it.”

I also recall him saying something along those lines.
24 WestisBest (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 02:25 pm Report abuse

Dr Bingham think? That's Mr Bingham you mean, his doctorate is fake remember.
25 egarcia1970 (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 03:41 pm Report abuse
Great story. Congratulations to the Falkland Islands government for its serious commitment to the preservation of native fauna and environment. Too bad some posters from both sides of the controversy can't help themselves and started snipping at each other as usual. Come on, people! This is good news for all Argies and Britons alike. Put your differences aside, at least in this thread.

26 Think (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 05:29 pm Report abuse
(10) Monty96
You say:
There are no ''No Fishing Zones'' around rookeries, as you well know.

I say:
You and your “femi-catholic” semantic trickery :-)
I don’t know if you, people in Malvinas, call them ”No Fishing Zones” or ”No-Take Zones” as in:

”The MPA includes “No-Take Zones” for the first 12 nautical miles around each island, including Shag Rocks. These No-Take Zones (over 20,000 km² in total) will protect the foraging grounds of many of the Territory's land-based marine predators such as penguins, seals and seabirds and protect the spawning areas of many demersal fish species.”

What I do know is that the fishing vessels are not fishing at a stone cast from the rookeries anymore, as they used to do during the years Dr. Bingham was in the Islands and observed the destruction of the penguin population.

(12) Monty69
As I have said many times before, it is a pity that you always set your fine intellect aside in your frantic effort to misunderstand or misquote my words.

What I said is that I considered justifiable if Argentina increased their total biomass catch on the South-Atlantic as to RENDER UNECONOMICAL, for foreign fishing fleets, the fisheries on the Malvinas area.

RENDER UNECONOMICAL is not the same as ”Hoovering up all the Fish and Squid in the Sea”.
And I NEVER SAID ANYTHING about ”Expendable Penguins”.
So the answer is YES, you dreamed it or, maybe, you are consciously or unconsciously telling porkies.

All the above is “on record” and easily verifiable through MercoPress’s archive function.....

And you don’t need to call me Dr. Think…….
I barely finished primary school…..
“Don Think” will suffice….

27 McClick (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 06:22 pm Report abuse
@ 15........ @ 24

For all i heard, just two days ago authorities in UK seized 300.000 doses of fake medicines in sophisticated and blister packs including VIAGRA, CIALIS,, and weight loss pills.which distributing via Internet to customers.
28 Marcos Alejandro (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 06:51 pm Report abuse
24 WestisBest, Remember?

“I accuse certain members of this administration of the unjust treatment handed out to Mike Bingham. In fact it is against the Haig Convention of Human Rights which this administration has signed up to. I understand the reason Mr Bingham is being treated so is that he had the audacity to question imaginative accountancy by Falklands Conservation regarding penguin numbers. I, like Falklands Conservation, am not an expert on penguins, but what does it take for these people to realise that there is a problem? Emaciated penguins outside the Falklands Conservation office with a begging bowl, squawking up ‘Please can we have some more’? For evil to triumph requires only that good men do nothing.” (Penguin News 20th December 2003) ”

“”Bingham wins in Supreme Court“ and ”Morally and Constitutionally Indefensible“ were the headlines in the local newspaper. Falkland Islands residents were outraged, and demanded the resignation of these officials. The newspaper was full of letters demanding a public apology from government, and an explanation as to how such corruption could have been allowed to occur unhindered at the very highest level of government.”(Penguin News)

Don Think

“Shares Fall
”The oil companies “are exposed to important sanctions,”

Falkland Oil & Gas fell 4.3 percent to 60.75 pence at 4:38 p.m. in London. Rockhopper shares tumbled 3.5 percent to 331.75 pence while Borders & Southern was down 4.9 percent to 63 pence”
29 WestisBest (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 07:12 pm Report abuse
That's right Marcos.

and I quote:

“I understand the reason Mr Bingham is being treated so is that he had the audacity to question imaginative accountancy by Falklands Conservation regarding penguin numbers.”

Did you notice the 'Mr'

30 Think (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 07:21 pm Report abuse
Long time no check the stock exchange
Let’s see those closing prices…......shall we?

RKH: 330.00p -13.75 -4.00 %
BOR: 62.50p -3.75 -5.66 %
FOGL: 60.75p -2.75 -4.33 %

And the oil industry is begining to worry....:
”Besides building into what many consider to be a foreign relations nightmare, Argentina’s threatened action could result in some of the world’s largest banks and accounting firms being at risk of asset seizures. According to analysts, the move could spell trouble for banks such as Barclays (NYSE:BCS), HSBC (NYSE:HBC), and Standard Chartered (LSE:STAN).
“Argentina certainly could try and bring claims against the companies in the Argentinian courts and they could also try and seize any assets that were actually in Argentina,” said Catherine Robert, a specialist in international arbitration and cross-border litigation at Hogan Lovells.
All of these groups “need to pay closest attention to what’s being said in Argentina and perhaps start talking to Argentinian lawyers,” Robert added.
In an interview with Reuters, Mark Jones, a Latin American specialist and chair of the department of political science at Rice University, stated that Argentina wants to attack the explorers, which also include Argos Resources (LSE:ARG) and Desire Petroleum (LSE:DES), where they are most vulnerable.
“They’re signalling that they’re going to do whatever it takes to put obstacles in the path towards developing the energy resources in the Falkland Islands,” he said.
From a regional perspective, Argentina has the ability to create further issues in an otherwise tense crude market as it has already garnered support from Brazil in its claims to the islands. If Brazil was to follow Argentina’s lead and ban oil companies that service the Falklands from operating in Brazil, waves could be sent through the market.

Chuckle chuckle®
31 briton (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 07:36 pm Report abuse
If Brazil was to follow Argentina’s lead
Then follow the leader it is then,
But I rather think that it may be the other way round,
17 malen
You could always build a new ARK and count them in, two by two .lol.
32 Monty69 (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 08:39 pm Report abuse
26 Think
You are talking about South Georgia. Which has declared an MPA up to the 12 mile limit.

This article is about the Falkland Islands which has no such MPA, or no-take zone, or anything else. The fishing regulations here are unchanged since Mr Bingham's crusading days.
33 Think (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 09:25 pm Report abuse
(32) Monty96

I will have to chech my info on that...........
I don't suppose you have a good link about the issue............... do you?

In the meantime..... :

If the Argentineans, the Chileans (and now the British in South Georgia) have implemented “No-Take Zones” to protect the foraging grounds of land-based marine predators such as penguins, seals and seabirds......................... Why hasn't Malvinas done the same???
34 Monty69 (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 09:33 pm Report abuse
33 Think

It's a bit hard to find a link to something that doesn't exist.

In the meantime....

Because we haven't got round to it yet. There is no fishing inside the 3-mile limit without a special license. None of these are currently issued as far as I know.
There are ongoing studies to establish the foraging grounds for rockhoppers and sealions. The FC website has some of this initial data on its blogs, including images from satellite tracking studies.
35 Think (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 10:05 pm Report abuse
(34) Monty 96

I said previously at my comment (26):
“What I do know is that the fishing vessels are not fishing at a *** STONE CAST *** from the rookeries anymore, ***AS THEY USED TO DO *** during the years Dr. Bingham was in the Islands and observed the destruction of the penguin population.”

You say now:
“There is ***NO FISHING INSIDE THE 3-MILE LIMIT WITHOUTH A SPECIAL LICENSE***. ***NONE *** of these are ***CURRENTLY ISSUED*** as far as I know”.

So............., we agree that ***CURRENTLY*** there is ***NO FISHING*** in front of the roockeries, a fact that has greatly eased the foraging needs of the nesting penguins.

All necessary studies have been already done by New Zealanders, South African, French, Norwegian, German, British, Russian, Chilean and last but not least Argentinean scientists.

All your so called “ Local Ongoing Studies to establish bla... bla... bla....” are just a delaying tactic to allow the fishing industry to exploit the Sea to its limiy and beyond.......
36 GreekYoghurt (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 10:27 pm Report abuse
... meanwhile in Argentina, first nations people are starving and being killed.
37 briton (#) Mar 22nd, 2012 - 11:05 pm Report abuse
by a very rich and powerful woman, who is very uncaring ..
38 Monty69 (#) Mar 23rd, 2012 - 12:38 am Report abuse
35 Think

You don't actually know anything about this do you?
You have the air of a man clutching at straws.

The only inshore fishing licenses I can remember in the last 15 years are one experimental scallop dredger and two local chaps catching crab. And that time covers the whole period of Mr Bingham's meltdown. And I never yet met a penguin that ate either.

I have no intention of discussing any of the rest of it with you. This is not the time or the place. And there are plenty of people who do know something about it.
39 Think (#) Mar 23rd, 2012 - 05:25 am Report abuse
(38) Monty 96

Of course lass……………, of course… .....................

I know nothing!

Or, even better; I see nothing, I am not here, I did not even get up this morning!

Anyhow, your comment above sums up perfectly the Mavinas squatters “Tunnel Vision”.
Anyone challenging, disapproving of criticizing the Islanders misconducts must be an ignorant, an Argie or an ignorant Argie lover.

Truisms, clichés and commonplaces…………..
40 Monty69 (#) Mar 23rd, 2012 - 09:07 am Report abuse
39 Think
No. Saying 'all the necessary studies have been done' and then providing no evidence whatsoever is a cliche. Or a commonplace perhaps. So is dismissing the current research, which wouldn't have got funding if someone had already done it.
You provide a proper argument and I'll think about it. Just saying 'lots of people and Mike Bingham think so' isn't a proper argument.

I might remind you that you started off by saying that the current penguin population boom is due to Mike Bingham's efforts. I've proved to you that it isn't. If you want to admit you were mistaken and go on to talk about no-take zones and MPAs beyond the 3 mile limit, then do it. There is a discussion to be had about that, and it's going on now amongst people can contribute in a meaningful way. If you want to add to that, then do it, but provide an argument that doesn't involve phrases like 'delaying tactic'. Not helpful.
41 Think (#) Mar 23rd, 2012 - 09:20 am Report abuse
(40) Monty96

You say:
“ started off by saying that the current penguin population boom is due to Dr. Mike Bingham's efforts. I've proved to you that it isn't.”

“You've proved to me that it isn't”???
“You've proved it”??
“Have you”?

I say:
Just bvy saying : “NO” ?
Well... That's usually all the “proof” you Brits ever need.
42 Monty69 (#) Mar 23rd, 2012 - 09:36 am Report abuse
41 Think
There is a lot of info about MPAs in Karen Neely's report for the Shallow Marine Surveys Group:

Including, oh look, the Inshore Fishing Regulations (1988). You'll have to trawl the fishing statistics to find out how many such licenses were issued. I, however, have places to go and useful work to do, which thankfully takes me out of range of the internet for a few days :-)
43 jayD (#) Mar 23rd, 2012 - 11:44 am Report abuse
The Argentine government have extended the fishing season and are illegally fishing across the Southern Ocean. I can imagine a day when the Penguins disappear, along wish fish stocks. The international community needs to act and bring the Argentine government into line. They are clearly out of control.
44 GreekYoghurt (#) Mar 23rd, 2012 - 11:53 am Report abuse
@43 Well the Argentinians refuse to discuss fishing with the FIG so, it's not the Fault of the FIG if the Argies choose to over-fish.
45 Filippo (#) Mar 23rd, 2012 - 03:20 pm Report abuse
this is my cousin Adolfo in London making fun of your stupido english army
46 Doveoverdover (#) Mar 23rd, 2012 - 04:29 pm Report abuse
@45 A small technical point. The stupid Scottish army, if you don't mind. Groups of three buttons, no plume and a thistle on the collar indicate this soldier to be a member of the Scots Guards.
47 briton (#) Mar 23rd, 2012 - 06:10 pm Report abuse
it just goes to show, some children never grow up,
and you wonder why the world laughs at you.
48 tobias (#) Mar 24th, 2012 - 05:43 am Report abuse

How is that British stewardship of the environment work for them?
49 Monty69 (#) Mar 24th, 2012 - 08:25 am Report abuse
48 tobias

50 GreekYoghurt (#) Mar 24th, 2012 - 11:11 am Report abuse
@49 Argtards don't seem cognitively capable of understanding that they genocided lots and lots of real people.

They seem to consider their first nations people as animals and then they place them in the hierarchy below rockhopper penguins and other falklands-based beasts.

It's a curiously Nazi way of looking at things.
51 tobias (#) Mar 24th, 2012 - 02:00 pm Report abuse
Whatever? You guys brought to beautiful species to extintion. Argentina has brought none to extintion.
52 GreekYoghurt (#) Mar 24th, 2012 - 04:48 pm Report abuse
@51 That outlines my example completely. An argtard expressing great regret about some beasts (very regrettable) at the expense of showing one iota of regret about all the people in Argentina that they genocided.

In Argentina they seem to not have any system of morality.
53 tobias (#) Mar 24th, 2012 - 05:53 pm Report abuse
Thanks for laying, hiding, and falling on my own trap for you.

“Exposure to new infectious diseases, loss of control over territory, conflict with the newly arrived Europeans, and war brought them to extinction before 1860.”

Anglos have no morality, they kill both innocent beast and human. At least we leave one unscathed. And yeah, British Sherwood forests are gone too.
54 Think (#) Mar 24th, 2012 - 06:40 pm Report abuse
(53) Tobias

A little contribution about Anglo racism……:

”Lord Jeffrey Amherst was commanding general of British forces in North America during the final battles of the so-called French & Indian war (1754-1763). He won victories against the French to acquire Canada for England and helped make England the world's chief colonizer.

Pivotal letters:
• Colonel Henry Bouquet to General Amherst, dated 13 July 1763, suggests in a postscript the distribution of blankets to “inocculate the Indians”;
• Amherst to Bouquet, dated 16 July 1763, approves this plan in a postscript and suggests as well as to “try every other method that can serve to Extirpate this Execrable Race.”

These letters also discuss the use of dogs to hunt the Indians, the so-called “Spaniard's Method,” which Amherst approves in principle, but says he cannot implement because there are not enough dogs.
55 tobias (#) Mar 24th, 2012 - 07:17 pm Report abuse
Disgusting bastards. But the Europeans are the same. Argentina saved them all in the 20th century when they migrated here from their hellholles in the UK, Europe, etc.
56 briton (#) Mar 24th, 2012 - 09:22 pm Report abuse
what would the world do without the great argentina ruled by the even greater CFK,
im sure the whole world would agrre to that,

and when you wake up and realise that argentina is in no possision to lecture anyone or any country,
about any time in the past,

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