Polar Record

Research Article

The history of the discovery of emperor penguin colonies, 1902–2004

Barbara Wieneckea1

a1 Australian Antarctic Division, 203 Channel Highway, Kingston TAS 7050, Australia (Barbara.Wienecke@aad.gov.au)


This article summarises the history of the discovery of emperor penguin Aptenodytes forsteri colonies. Emperor penguins were probably first seen on James Cook's second voyage (1773–1775) but were not recorded as a separate species until 1844. The first breeding colony of these birds was found in 1902 and a further 32 were sighted over the next century. The total number of colonies is still unknown but today satellite technology is aiding the process of discovery.

(Received June 2009)