Pollution and physiological variability in gentoo penguins at two rookeries with different levels of human visitation

Authors
Barbosa, Andrés; De Mas, Andrea; Benzal, Jesús; Diaz, Julia Inés; Motas, Miguel; Jerez, Silvia; Pertierra, Luis; Benayas, Luis; Justel, Ana; Lauzurica, Pilar; García Peña, Francisco Javier; Serrano, Tania
Publication Year
2013
Language
English
Format
article
Status
Published version
Description
Human activity and specifically tourism has been increasing in Antarctica over the last few years. Few studies have examined the indirect effects of human visits on Antarctic penguin rookeries. This work aims to study the differences between a highly visited (Hannah Point) and a rarely visited (Devil’s Point, Byers Peninsula) gentoo penguin rookery on Livingston Island. Our results suggest that potential indirect effects of human impact are observed in gentoo penguins at Hannah Point, a colony heavily visited by tourists. Penguins at Hannah Point showed a higher presence of heavy metals such as Pb and Ni and a higher number of erythrocytic nuclear abnormalities than penguins at Devil’s Point. Immunological parameters showed different results depending on whether we consider the cellular response - the number of lymphocytes being higher in penguins from Hannah Point - or the humoral response - the level of immunoglobulins being higher in penguins from Devil’s Point. Measurements of corticosterone levels in feathers and heterophil/lymphocyte (H/L) ratio in blood showed lower levels in the heavily visited rookery than in the rarely visited rookery. Finally, we did not detect Campylobacter jejuni, a bacteria potentially transmitted by humans in either of the populations and we did not find any difference in the prevalence of Campylobacter lari between the populations.
Fil: Barbosa, Andrés. Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas; España. Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales. Departamento Ecología Evolutiva; España. Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas. Estacion Experimental de Zonas Aridas; España
Fil: De Mas, Andrea. Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas. Estacion Experimental de Zonas Aridas; España
Fil: Benzal, Jesús. Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas. Estacion Experimental de Zonas Aridas; España
Fil: Diaz, Julia Inés. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro Científico Tecnológico La Plata. Centro de Estudios Parasitológicos y de Vectores (i); Argentina. Universidad Nacional de La Plata. Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo; Argentina
Fil: Motas, Miguel. Universidad de Murcia; España
Fil: Jerez, Silvia. Universidad de Murcia; España
Fil: Pertierra, Luis. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid; España
Fil: Benayas, Luis. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid; España
Fil: Justel, Ana. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid; España
Fil: Lauzurica, Pilar. Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto de Salud; España
Fil: García Peña, Francisco Javier. Laboratorio Central de Veterinaria; España
Fil: Serrano, Tania. Laboratorio Central de Veterinaria; España
Subject
Antarctic penguins
Genotoxic damage
Human disturbance
Immune response
Pollution
Stress
Conservación de la Biodiversidad
Ciencias Biológicas
CIENCIAS NATURALES Y EXACTAS
Ecología
Ciencias Biológicas
CIENCIAS NATURALES Y EXACTAS
Access level
Restricted access
License
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/ar/
Repository
CONICET Digital (CONICET)
Institution
Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas
OAI Identifier
oai:ri.conicet.gov.ar:11336/10768