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The Penguin Diaries - 17 of 36


Monday, 26 February 2001
"Final Report"
 


Cape Shirreff, Livingston Island, Antarctica 26 February 2001
Seabirds:
1. Chinstrap penguin fledge weights ended on 25 Feb. after nine days of walking the beaches each evening to recapture and weigh all banded chicks before they head out to sea.
2. On 24 Feb. we took down the DCC station, which completed the 7th, and final week of foraging data collected on chinstrap penguins outfitted with standard transmitters.
3. We walked the beaches on 25 Feb. and counted the number of chinstrap penguin chick carcasses washed up on the beaches. Each carcass is checked for bands. The main predator of the fledged chicks are leopard seals.
4. All brown skua chick measurements have been completed except for territory 19. When the skua chicks reach 48 days old we measure theirculmen length and depth, tarsus length and weight.
5. Another successful and enjoyable season of seabird research at Cape Shirreff is complete. We feel very fortunate to be able to conduct research in such a wild and unique place.
Pinnipeds:
6. Diet Studies and pup tagging continue to be a main focus of our efforts. Between the Chilean and USA camps, we now have 470 of the required 500pups tagged for CCAMLR. The remaining 30 will be tagged today.
7. We are continuing to see newly arrived fur seals which were tagged as pups and though the vast majority continue to be 2-3 year olds, we have now sighted a total of 21 yearlings.
8. As the end of the field season approaches, we are compiling our data and entering it in the computer.
9. Data collection on the duration of female fur seal foraging trips was completed on February 24.
Weather for the Week:
10. On February 20th, a weather front moved over us causing the East wind to increase to a steady 35 knots, with gusts near 55 knots. The high winds continued with freezing temperatures through the afternoon of February22, diminishing much of the field work scheduled for that time period.
Camp Activities:
11. During the wind storm, the 12v supply wiring was rerouted to power an outside flood light and provide a clean power source for the HF radio. The latter improved our reception on the radio.
12. The high winds caused damage to some cabin doors and our solar array. After the storm these were all repaired.
13. For the last couple of days, efforts have been focused on closing camp. The AMLR research ship YUZHMORGEOLOGIYA is scheduled to pick up both our field camp and the neighboring Chilean field camp on February 28.
14. As Cape Shirreff Field Camp is scheduled for closing on February 28, 2001, this will be the last weekly report for this season.


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