Antarctic Science

Short Note

Killer whale harrassment of Adélie penguins at Ross Island

a1 PRBO Conservation Science, 4990 Shoreline Highway 1, Stinson Beach, CA 94970, USA
a2 H.T. Harvey & Associates, 3150 Almaden Expressway, Suite 145, San Jose CA 95118, USA

Article author query
ballard g   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
ainley dg   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

On innumerable occasions, Adélie (Pygoscelis adeliae) and emperor penguins (Aptenodytes forsteri) have been observed in close proximity to killer whales (Orcinus orca), with no whale-penguin interactions reported. On the other hand, killer whales reportedly harass and eat seabirds on occasion (Walker 1968: p. 1122, Stacey et al. 1990, Williams et al. 1990). Killer whales are known to prey on young king penguins (A. patagonica) as they are fledging (Guinet 1992, Guinet & Bouvier 1995) and occasionally take emperor penguins (Mikhalev et al. 1981). Thomas et al. (1981) report killer whales chasing Adélies. Here we report the only observations of Adélie-killer whale interactions observed in nine field seasons on Ross Island.

(Received December 16 2004)
(Accepted March 15 2005)