HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Ecotourism: Penguins can get used to people

Having houseguests can be a strain but new research shows that penguins can quickly adapt to the stress of ecotourism. Experimental evidence that wild penguins get used to people visiting their breeding colony was presented by Brian Walker of the University of Washington in Seattle at the June 1999 Society for Conservation Biology meeting.

Ecotourism is the fastest-growing industry in the world today and is worth about $300 billion annually, says Walker. Each year more than 45,000 people flock to the world's largest Magellanic Penguin breeding colony in Punta Tombo, Argentina. Tourists walk along a trail that goes right into the colony and comes within inches of nests.

To see how people affect the penguins, Walker and his colleagues walked, talked and sang near penguins that nested along the tourist trail (and so were used to people) and near penguins that nested in a remote area (and so were not used to people).

The researchers compared the stress levels of the two groups of penguins with two measures. The first measure was the rate of head-turning, a behavior that penguins display when agitated by, for instance, the approach of a fox or other predator. The second measure of stress was the blood level of corticosterone, a steroid hormone that rises with stress and can kill animals if it gets too high.

Walker and his colleagues found that after 15 minutes of exposure to people, the penguins along the tourist trail were far less stressed than those in the remote area. "Tourist trail" penguins displayed only a fifth as many head turns as "remote" penguins (40 vs. about 200 head turns). Moreover, "tourist trail" penguins' corticosterone levels were only a third as high as those of "remote" penguins. This shows that "tourist trail" penguins have gotten used to people.

How long does it take penguins to get used to people? After 10 days of having people around, the "remote" penguins' rate of head-turning was as low as that of the "tourist tr
'"/>

Contact: Brian Walker
bwalker@u.washington.edu
206-616-2791
Society for Conservation Biology
28-Jun-1999


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Penguins ingest mollusk shells to obtain calcium for thicker eggshells
2. Increasing Frequency Of El Nino Takes Toll On Northern Hemispheres Only Penguins
3. Beset By Human Competition, Penguins Must Take Marathon Food Trips To Avoid Starvation, A Researcher Finds
4. Men from early middle ages were nearly as tall as modern people
5. Iron can have negative side effects on people with kidney disease
6. Mighty mouse gene works the same way in people
7. From algae, weeds and people: new genetic clues to complex obesity syndrome
8. Telling people what they want to believe
9. Estimated one in five people worldwide lack enough zinc in diet
10. Primate viruses transmitted to people through bushmeat
11. Special training may help people with autism recognize faces

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/2/2019)... ... 2019 , ... uBiome, the leader in microbial genomics, has ... requirements for medical laboratories to demonstrate competence to deliver timely, accurate, and reliable ... College of American Pathologists (CAP)-accredited, a designation given to the top three percent ...
(Date:1/25/2019)... , ... January 24, 2019 , ... ... Julia Oh, PhD, Assistant Professor of Microbiology at the Jackson Laboratory (JAX), to ... around the world, Dr. Oh will bring to uBiome expertise in skin microbial ...
(Date:1/25/2019)... ... January 24, 2019 , ... ... rare diseases , As states continue to grapple with prescription drug costs, a ... disease-specific questions policy makers should address before deciding whether to contract with the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/2/2019)... , ... January 31, 2019 , ... Dust off your ... as it hosts the Nuriv 2019 Expo West Music and Tech Festival at the ... to foster innovation in the natural foods, beverages, and dietary supplement industries, the Nuriv ...
(Date:1/30/2019)... , ... January 29, 2019 , ... ... Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) serving the global biopharmaceutical and biotechnology industries with ... of $59.1 million backed by multiple global investors lead by China's State Development ...
(Date:1/30/2019)... Mass. (PRWEB) , ... January 29, 2019 , ... ... tell when someone is frustrated over something like a tricky math problem on ... research team led by Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) computer science assistant professor ...
(Date:1/28/2019)... ... 2019 , ... Fragment-based lead discovery (FBLD) involves biophysical screening ... false positives can be problematic due to high levels of solvents and nonspecific ... highly sensitive to detect weak interactions. Nanomed , leading producer of graphene ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: