Killer whale harrassment of Adélie penguins at Ross Island
GRANT BALLARD a1andDAVID G. AINLEY a2 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
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)