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The Humboldt Current System presents high interannual variability, influenced by the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), whose implications in wildlife are not fully understood. We studied the isotopic niche of wild Humboldt penguins at Punta San Juan (Peru) during the pre-moult foraging trip in 4 consecutive years (2008-2011) under known oceanographic (ENSO) conditions. Our results show that there is a clear isotopic niche segregation (on both δC and δN values) of wild Humboldt penguins among all years. Besides isotopic niche segregation, niche width also varied significantly among years. The larger isotopic niche displayed in 2008 reflected the opportunistic feeding behaviour of Humboldt penguins when oceanographic conditions were unfavourable (i.e. El Niño of strong intensity). In contrast, and despite strong segregation, penguins displayed a more specialist behaviour in years of mild environmental conditions (i.e. 2009 "warm-weak", 2010 "neutral" and 2011 "warm-moderate"). No evidence of sexual segregation in wild Humboldt penguins during the pre-moulting foraging trip was found. This study highlights the coping mechanisms of an endangered species to changes in environmental conditions (i.e. overall, from strong to neutral El Niño events), which should have important ramifications in the management of the marine ecosystem in Peru, particularly the one related to the anchovy industry.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Marine environmental research
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A loose confederation of computer communication networks around the world. The networks that make up the Internet are connected through several backbone networks. The Internet grew out of the US Government ARPAnet project and was designed to facilitate information exchange.
The orderly segregation of CHROMOSOMES during MEIOSIS or MITOSIS.
Animals considered to be wild or feral or not adapted for domestic use. It does not include wild animals in zoos for which ANIMALS, ZOO is available.
The sole family in the order Sphenisciformes, comprised of 17 species of penguins in six genera. They are flightless seabirds of the Southern Hemisphere, highly adapted for marine life.
Works consisting of annual statements concerning the administrative and operational functions of an institution or organization.
The World Health Organization (WHO) definition of sexual health; "the state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being related to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction and infirmity. Sexual health requires a posit...