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Laying Asynchrony in Gentoo Penguins on Crozet Islands: Causes and Consequences
C. A. Bost and P. Jouventin
Ornis Scandinavica (Scandinavian Journal of Ornithology)
Vol. 21, No. 1 (Mar., 1990), pp. 63-70
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3676380
Page Count: 8
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In contrast to the majority of sub-Antarctic species, the Gentoo Penguin Pygoscelis papua has a long laying season, especially in the Crozet archipelago. A 3-year study at this locality has provided the first detailed analysis of laying patterns and inter-annual variations in its breeding. Unusually large variations in the timing of breeding may be related to food shortage early in the breeding season. The capacity of this penguin to overcome reproductive failure by relaying seems to be the major factor responsible for the extended laying season. Relaying was, however, associated with a cost; birds breeding late in one year often either did not breed or had their breeding delayed in the following year. Delayed laying in the Gentoo Penguin is unexpected for a bird of smaller size and shorter breeding cycle than larger seabirds such as albatrosses and King Penguins Aptenodytes patagonicus that also exhibit this phenomenon. In this northernmost locality for the Gentoos, delayed laying seems to be linked to its difficult reproduction in a limited inshore feeding-niche.
Ornis Scandinavica (Scandinavian Journal of Ornithology) © 1990 Nordic Society Oikos