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Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species has a circumpolar distribution, being found in Antarctica, the South Sandwich Islands (Islas Sandwich del Sur), the South Orkneys, South Shetland and South Georgia (Georgia del Sur), Bouvet Island (to Norway) and the Balleny Islands (del Hoyo et al. 1992).

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Chinstrap penguins make their home around the Antarctic Peninsula and the coastal islands of the continent. Mainly, you find them on the South Shetland Islands, South Orkney Island and South Sandwich (Welch 1997).

Biogeographic Regions: atlantic ocean (Native ); pacific ocean (Native )

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Range

Circumpolar Antarctic seas and adjacent islands.
  • Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

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Physical Description

Morphology

Chinstrap penguins are white on the front and throat but have a black back. A thin band of black plumage runs from one side of the head to the other, right below each reddish eye and unites under the bill. Chicks have grey backs and white fronts. The male and female Chinstraps are monomorphic, as are all other penguins, thus make it hard to tell them apart without non-morphological cues. They stand about 72 cm tall and weigh about 3.5 to 5 kg. Adult weight varies during the year. When the penguin is in the molting season they gain the most weight and when they are in the brooding period they lose the most. Chinstrap penguins are able to withstand extreme cold due to the insulation provided by their short, densely packed feathers. This in turn forms a waterproof coat. Underneath these feathers, a thick layer of fat or blubber also serves as storage for energy. These adaptations help protect them against the extreme cold conditions of the Antarctic by minimizing heat loss in icy cold waters (Hale 1999, Muller-Schwarze 1984, Welch 1997).

Range mass: 3000 to 5000 g.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species is solely marine and is mostly found in zones with light ice pack. Its diet is comprised almost exclusively of Antarctic krill, but it will also take fish and other species of crustaceans when possible. Prey capture is apparently by pursuit-diving up to a depth of 70 m, but mostly less than 45 m. It breeds on irregular rocky coasts in ice free areas, forming large colonies of hundreds and thousands of birds and beginning laying in November at the earliest (del Hoyo et al. 1992).


Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Marine
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Depth range based on 984 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 580 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 0
  Temperature range (°C): -1.465 - 9.412
  Nitrate (umol/L): 10.652 - 30.562
  Salinity (PPS): 33.651 - 34.197
  Oxygen (ml/l): 6.657 - 8.188
  Phosphate (umol/l): 1.048 - 2.119
  Silicate (umol/l): 4.584 - 89.471

Graphical representation

Temperature range (°C): -1.465 - 9.412

Nitrate (umol/L): 10.652 - 30.562

Salinity (PPS): 33.651 - 34.197

Oxygen (ml/l): 6.657 - 8.188

Phosphate (umol/l): 1.048 - 2.119

Silicate (umol/l): 4.584 - 89.471
 
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Chinstrap Penguins often live on large icebergs on the open ocean. One colony on the South Sandwich Islands is said to contain over 10 million birds. They are a stable population and were last estimated to include about 7.5 million breeding pairs. (Barham and Barham 1996, Welch 1997, Woehler and Chippingdale 2000).

Terrestrial Biomes: icecap

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Depth range based on 984 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 580 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 0
  Temperature range (°C): -1.465 - 9.412
  Nitrate (umol/L): 10.652 - 30.562
  Salinity (PPS): 33.651 - 34.197
  Oxygen (ml/l): 6.657 - 8.188
  Phosphate (umol/l): 1.048 - 2.119
  Silicate (umol/l): 4.584 - 89.471

Graphical representation

Temperature range (°C): -1.465 - 9.412

Nitrate (umol/L): 10.652 - 30.562

Salinity (PPS): 33.651 - 34.197

Oxygen (ml/l): 6.657 - 8.188

Phosphate (umol/l): 1.048 - 2.119

Silicate (umol/l): 4.584 - 89.471
 
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Trophic Strategy

The Chinstrap's diet is quite simple and consists of small shoaling animals: krill, small fish and other roaming marine crustacea. Chinstrap penguins' prey is 95% krill and about 5% of the other species mentioned (Barham and Barham 1996; Welch 1997).

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Breeding Category

Breeding
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Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

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Reproduction

The nests they build on icebergs are roughly circular consisting of stones and are typically 40 cm in diameter and up to 15 cm high. Chinstrap penguins usually lay two eggs, generally two to four weeks later than other pygoscelid species in the same area. The Chinstraps complete their breeding cycle by February or March and go back to the pack ice during winter. The eggs are hatched by both parents in shifts of 5 to 10 days. After 33 to 35 days the chicks hatch and they stay in the nests for 20 to 30 days before joining their crèches (groups of young penguins huddling together for warmth and protection). At 50 to 60 days of age, after molting, the chicks finally go to sea (Barham and Barham 1996, Hale 1999).

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; oviparous

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Pygoscelis antarcticus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 6 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

GTGACCCTCATTAACCGATGATTATTCTCAACCAACCACAAAGATATCGGTACCCTCTACCTAATCTTTGGCGCATGAGCAGGTATAGCCGGAACCGCTCTAAGCCTGCTCATTCGCGCAGAGCTTGGCCAACCTGGAACCCTCCTAGGAGATGACCAAATCTACAACGTAATCGTCACCGCCCACGCCTTCGTAATAATCTTCTTCATAGTAATACCCATCATGATCGGAGGATTCGGAAACTGACTAGTGCCACTTATAATCGGCGCCCCCGACATAGCATTCCCACGCATAAACAACATAAGCTTCTGACTGCTACCCCCATCCTTCCTACTCCTACTAGCCTCATCCACAGTAGAAGCAGGGGCTGGCACAGGATGAACTGTGTACCCACCACTAGCAGGTAACCTAGCCCACGCTGGTGCTTCAGTAGACCTAGCTATCTTCTCCCTCCACCTAGCAGGAGTCTCCTCCATCCTAGGGGCTATCAATTTTATCACCACTGCCATCAACATAAAACCCCCAGCCCTCTCACAATACCAAACCCCCCTATTCGTATGATCCGTCCTTATTACAGCCGTTCTCCTACTACTTTCACTCCCTGTGCTCGCTGCTGGCATCACTATACTACTAACTGACCGAAACCTAAACACCACCTTCTTCGACCCCGCTGGAGGGGGAGACCCAGTCCTATACCAACATCTCTTCTGATTCTTCGGCCACCCAGAAGTATATATCCTAATCCTTCCAGGTTTCGGAATCATCTCCCACGTAGTAACATACTATGCAGGCAAAAAAGAACCATTCGGCTACATAGGAATAGTATGAGCCATACTGTCCATCGGATTCCTCGGCTTCATCGTATGGGCCCACCACATGTTCACAGTCGGAATAGACGT
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Pygoscelis antarcticus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 5
Specimens with Barcodes: 5
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.


History
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
  • Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
  • Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)