King penguin census data, Gadget Gully, Macquarie Island (1993-2008)
Australian Antarctic Data Centre

Dataset credit

iOBIS and Australian Antarctic Data Centre


Primary contact Ben Raymond


Raymond, B. 2011. King penguin census data, Gadget Gully, Macquarie Island (1993-2008). Data downloaded from OBIS-SEAMAP ( on yyyy-mm-dd and originated from iOBIS (


Ground counts of King Penguin Aptenodytes patagonicuseggs, chicks, fledglings and adults at Gadget Gully on Macquarie Island (1993-2008 incomplete). Counts were obtained in the field by observers at Gadget gully. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when blubber oil fuelled house lamps, the king penguin population at Macquarie Island was reduced from two very large (perhaps hundreds of thousands of birds) colonies to about 3000 birds. One colony, located on the isthmus when the island was discovered in 1810, was extinct by 1894 and it took about 100 years for king penguins to re-establish a viable breeding population there. Here we document this recovery. The first eggs laid at Gadget Gully on the isthmus were recorded in late February 1995 but in subsequent years egg laying took place earlier between November and February (this temporal discontinuity is a consequence of king penguin breeding behaviour). The first chick was hatched in April 1995 but the first fledging was not raised until the following breeding season in October 1996. The colony increased on average 66% per annum in the five years between 1995 and 2000. King penguins appear resilient to catastrophic population reductions, and as the island's population increases, it is likely that other previously abandoned breeding sites will be reoccupied.



Supplemental information

Original data obtained from and registered into iOBIS on 2009-05-18. This dataset on OBIS-SEAMAP is a subset of marine mammal, seabird and/or sea turtle records from the dataset on iOBIS (Total number of records: 607) harvested into OBIS-SEAMAP on 2011-10-11


. . Tipping back the balance: recolonization of the Macquarie Island isthmus by king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) following extermination for human gain John van den Hoff, Clive R. McMahon and Iain Field Antarctic Science , First View article doi:10.1017/S0954102009001898, Published Online by Cambridge University Press 10 Mar 2009.
Data on iOBIS. 2009. obtained on 2011-10-11.
Original data source. . obtained on 2009-05-27.



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Attributes in dataset provided

Attribute (table column)Description
Marine mammals0
Sea turtles0
Rays and sharks0
Other species0
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin1993-09-28
Date, End2008-08-01
Temporal prec.111111
Latitude-54.51 - -54.51
Longitude158.93 - 158.93
Coord. prec.3 decimal digits
Data typeAnimal sighting
Contr. throughiOBIS
Sharing policy CC-BY (All)
Also availalbe from None
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