Trailing Penguins in Patagonia

Wildlife & Ecosystems

Trailing Penguins in Patagonia

How exactly do penguins find food at sea, and how does it impact their young? Be among the first to investigate.

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The facts

Why the research is important

Why the research is important

This penguin colony provides a great opportunity to examine how foraging behavior shapes the fate of penguin chicks.

By joining the research on this Patagonian penguin rookery, you will help discover what kind of feeding behavior keeps these birds healthy.


Get hands-on with these charismatic birds.

Scientists selected this particular colony as the focus of their work because it’s in the center of penguin colonies along the coast of Patagonia. So far, their research has shown that penguins to the north and south of the focal colony seem better fed and healthier, while those to the center have higher chick mortality and generally less healthy chicks.

Their theory? Northern and southern penguins have more nearby food sources than the penguins along the center, which have to swim further expending more energy to get to their distant prey. This means the penguins in the middle colonies are also leaving their chicks unsupervised for longer periods of time, and bringing home fewer meals when they do come back to the colony.

By studying the colony in the middle, scientists can investigate factors that could be helping or harming colonies on either side. They will also study how the food availability and proximity impacts the survival and health of penguin chicks. With this information, these researchers can identify the areas of the ocean that should get government protection to keep essential penguin habitats safe.

About the research area

Chubut, Patagonia, Argentina, South America

Daily life in the field


This is a summary:



The Scientists


Ecology and Management of Aquatic Resources Centro Nacional Patagónico (CONICET)

ABOUT Flavio Quintana

Dr. Quintana explores how penguin food availability and proximity along the coast of Patagonia impacts the survival and health of penguin chicks. This research will help to identify specific habitats that should receive government protection.


Accommodations and Food

Accommodations and Food


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