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“Eco-tourists” Love Penguins To Death

(From scoop.co.nz)- Monitoring shows even careful visitors to nest sites cause a doubling of the penguin’s heart rate with the birds needing up to half an hour to recover. As a result of disturbance, the birds are more likely to abandon their nests and chick feeding may be disrupted, leading to reduced breeding success and lighter fledglings. “People sit on the main penguin highway waiting or get between the birds and their nests, forcing them back into the sea and delaying chick feeding times.” Ursula Ellenberg’s study of the penguin colony at Sandfly Bay has won a PhD student from the University of Otago a major prize in the MacDiarmid Young Scientists of the Year Awards.

(Press Release: XTRA)

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