Katie Holt

Field updates: Argentina, April 2024

Thanks to the generous support of Zoo Augsburg in Germany, Dr. Eric Wagner and Katie Holt 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. As of today 18 satellite tags are still transmitting to our live tracking map on our website.  This is the third year we have tracked penguins during migration, and already we have learned vital information about sex-specific patterns and behaviors. Females, for example, tend to stay closer to the coast than […]

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Testing Technology with the Woodland Park Zoo

Since 2015, we have deployed automatic weighbridges to track the foraging success of Magellanic penguins at one of their largest breeding colonies – Punta Tombo, Argentina. These weighbridges weigh penguins noninvasively as they leave the nesting area to forage and when they return to feed their chicks. This helps us track whether these penguins are finding enough food for themselves and their chicks. With new fishing effort data made available with satellite technology, we are excited to start working on how fishing and ocean conditions affect penguin foraging.  After all of these years in the harsh Patagonian environment (high winds,

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Field updates: Argentina, Winter 2023

In January and February of 2023 Dr. Dee Boersma, along with PhD students Katie Holt (Boersma Lab) and Erik Johansson (Abrahms Lab), spent six weeks in Punta Tombo to set up the remote scales that weigh penguins on their way in and out of the breeding area, and followed 19 penguins using GPS tags. The three of them were also able to complete the annual colony-wide surveys at Punta Tombo and nearby Cabo Dos Bahias.

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Unprecedented heat mortality of Magellanic Penguins

Authors: Katie Holt and Dee BoersmaJournal: Ornithological ApplicationsDOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/ornithapp/duab052 Abstract excerpt: Extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and severe, leading to an increase in direct, adverse thermoregulatory impacts on wildlife. Here, we document an unprecedented, single-day, heat-related mortality event of Magellanic Penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) at Punta Tombo, Chubut Province, Argentina, one of the largest breeding colonies for this species.

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