Penguin biologists collect samples at the Auster emperor penguin colony and undertake a census of Adélie penguin nests on the Robinson Islands.

Penguin biologists study emperor and Adelie penguins

A field party composed of penguin biologists Julie and Helen together with Anders and Chris H, recently returned from a field trip to the Auster emperor penguin colony via the Robinson Island group. One hundred samples of emperor penguin faeces were collected to be later analysed as part of a study investigating dietary composition of this and other seabird species across the three Australian Antarctic stations.

On the way home from Auster the field party visited four islands in the Robinson Group to undertake counts of breeding Adélie penguins. All of the islands in the group are counted every three of four years as a means of monitoring changes in the breeding populations. This season counts have also been undertaken in the Kista and Rookery Island groups as well. Feathers and some flesh samples were also collected from dead birds at each of the islands to be used in a population genetics study.

Whilst the biologists worked, Anders and Chris assisted when necessary, photographed the biologists at work and took some nice photos of the penguins, skuas and Wilson storm petrels.

As is usual on any visit to a field hut there is always maintenance jobs to be done so on this trip Chris repaired the toilet door in the Macey Island field hut.