Physiological and behavioral differences in Magellanic Penguin chicks in undisturbed and tourist-visited locations of a colony

Conservation Biology (Impact Factor: 4.36). 01/2005; 19:1571-1577. DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2005.00104.x

ABSTRACT Studies examining anthropogenic effects on wildlife typically focus on adults and on behavioral responses rather than the physiological consequences of human disturbances. Here we examined bow Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) chicks living in either tourist-visited or undisturbed areas of a breeding colony were affected by human visitation by comparing the baseline and stress-induced levels of corticosterone. during three periods of the breeding season. Newly hatched chicks in visited areas had higher corticosterone stress responses than newly hatched chicks in undisturbed, areas (p = 0.007), but baseline levels were similar. (p = 0.61). By 40-50 days of age and around fledging time, both visited and undisturbed chicks showed a robust corticosterone stress response to capture. Tourist-visited chicks did not flee when approached by humans, however, whereas undisturbed chicks fled significantly sooner (i.e., when approached no closer than 9 m; p < 0.0001). Although it is unknown whether Magel

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