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:11/13/2018)... , ... November 12, 2018 ... ... Park-based management consulting firm specializing in the life sciences, healthcare, and technology ... for Cybersecurity and Compliance. Summerville will be responsible for overseeing CREO’s work ...
(Date:11/13/2018)... ... November 13, 2018 , ... ... nation’s largest Phase I-IV clinical trial site service companies in North America, ... practices in North Carolina, and a leading provider of innovative, quality, comprehensive ...
(Date:11/9/2018)... ... November 08, 2018 , ... Boekel Scientific launches ... also known as dry bath incubators are used in laboratories worldwide for controlling ... For the new heating blocks, Boekel Scientific used the same interface design as ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/11/2018)... ... November 09, 2018 , ... Triple W, an innovator of connected ... Awards Honoree for DFree ®, the first health tech wearable device for ... to go to the bathroom. The announcement was made during CES Unveiled New York, ...
(Date:11/9/2018)... ... November 08, 2018 , ... IC System, one ... powered approach to increasing recovery rates by creating a comprehensive contact strategy for ... product developed by NLP Logix, a Jacksonville, Florida-based AI solutions company, and leveraged ...
(Date:11/7/2018)... ... November 07, 2018 , ... Since September of this year, ... of the adult tissue stem cell counting problem in stem cell medicine and ... intensifying this effort with new educational publications and presentations at clinical trial supply ...
(Date:11/6/2018)... ... November 06, 2018 , ... Crucial Data Solutions ... collection and management. TrialKit ™, an eClinical platform, has incorporated Apple’s biometric ... and easily sign in to the app via facial recognition or fingerprint recognition. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: