Field updates: Argentina, April 2023

Photo credit: Eric Wagner

Thanks to the generous support of Zoo Augsburg in Germany, Dr. Ginger Rebstock and Dr. Eric Wagner were able to return to Punta Tombo for a couple of weeks in April. There, they put twenty satellite tags on penguins—ten females and ten males—that were about to start their post-breeding migration.

From last year’s tagging effort, we know that females hug the coast more than males as they swim north, and pairs do not migrate together. Now we are trying to get a better sense of whether females and males use the same routes consistently from one year to the next. The tags are supposed to last for several months, and so should give us a much more detailed understanding of the most important habitats for migrating penguins, and how better to protect them.

You can watch the penguins’ journeys in real time by visiting our Interactive Penguin Maps.

Ginger and Eric ran into Turbo a couple of times on their April trip. When they saw him, he had just started his molt—his plumage was all puffed out so he looked like an overstuffed pillow They didn’t see him again after April 9, so presumably he went somewhere else in the colony to finish his molt. We look forward to seeing him next year!

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