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Title

Penguin colony attendance under artificial lights for ecotourism

AuthorsRodríguez, Airam ; Holmberg, Ross; Dann, Peter; Chiaradia, André
Issue Date2018
PublisherWiley-Blackwell
CitationJournal of Experimental Zoology. Part a, Ecological and Integrative Physiology,329:457–464 (2018)
AbstractWildlife watching is an emerging ecotourism activity around the world. In Australia and NewZealand,nightviewingoflittlepenguinsattractshundredsofthousandsofvisitorsperyear.Aspenguinsstartcomingashoreaftersunset,artificiallightingisessentialtoallowvisitorstoviewtheminthedark.Thisalterationofthenightscapewarrantsinvestigationforanypotentialeffectsof artificial lighting on penguin behavior. We experimentally tested how penguins respond todifferentlightwavelengths(colors)andintensitiestoexamineeffectsonthecolonyattendancebehaviorattwositesonPhillipIsland,Australia.Atonesite,nocturnalartificialilluminationhasbeenusedforpenguinviewingfordecades,whereasattheothersite,theonlylightisfromthenaturalnightsky.Lightintensitydidnotaffectcolonyattendancebehaviorsofpenguinsatthearti-ficiallylitsite,probablyduetopenguinhabituationtolights.Atthenotpreviouslylitsite,penguinspreferredlitpathsoverdarkpathstoreachtheirnests.Thus,artificiallightmightenhancepen-guinvisionatnightandconsequentlyitmightreducepredationriskandenergeticcostsofloco-motionthroughobstacleandpathdetection.Althoughpenguinsarefaithfultotheirpath,theycanbedrawntoartificiallightsatsmallspatialscale,solightpollutioncouldattractpenguinstounde-sirablelitareas.Whenartificiallightingisrequired,werecommendkeepinglightingasdimandtime-restrictedaspossibletomitigateanynegativeeffectsonthebehaviorofpenguinsandtheirnaturalhabitat
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/:10.1002/jez.215
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/174006
DOI10.1002/jez.215
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