Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Michael Polito

» Tracking Animal Migrations Using Stable Isotopes

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» Niche Dynamics of Antarctic Krill Predators

» Mercury (Hg) Exposure in Marine Communities

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» Oxidative Stress and Sexual Signaling in Penguins


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Winter migration of chinstrap penguins tagged in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica (NOAA/Google)

Tracking Animal Migrations Using Stable Isotopes

Simon Thorrold (WHOI) Stephanie Jenouvrier (WHOI) Steve Emslie (UNCW) Bill Patterson (Univ. Saskatchewan) Wayne Trivelpiece (NOAA) Jefferson Hinke (NOAA)

Recent advances in light–weight geolocation (GLS) tags now allow us to track the migration and movements of seabirds throughout the entire year. Stable isotope analysis is complementary approach to tracking of animal movements as isotopic compositions of animal tissues integrate dietary information from their foraging environments and can track animal movements among geographically discrete habitats.  Working with researchers at NOAA, we are integrating GLS tagging and stable isotopes to track the winter migration and geographic distribution of Adélie and chinstrap penguins in the Antarctic Peninsula. This study will provide a first ever, regional scale analyses of the winter diets and distribution of penguins in the Antarctic Peninsula that will be of critical importance in defining spatial and temporal management priorities for these species.

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