Bellwether of Climate Change
The Adélie penguin is one of the best-studied birds in the world and is the subject of research programs from a dozen nations interested in monitoring changes in the environment and the food webs of the Southern Ocean. This species' population has been changing dramatically over the past few decades coincident with a general warming of the maritime portion of Antarctica. When the sea-ice is seen to decline so does the population of Adélie penguins. Further south, however, the population is increasing.
This book summarizes our present ecological knowledge of this polar seabird. In so doing, David Ainley describes the ecological factors important to its life history and details the mechanisms by which it is responding to climate change. The author also chronicles the history of research on Adélie penguins, beginning with the heroic expeditions at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Weaving together history, ecology, natural history, and written accounts from the earliest Antarctic naturalists into a fascinating account of this charismatic bird, The Adélie Penguin provides a foundation upon which future ornithological research and environmental monitoring can be based. It is a model for investigations into the effect of climate change on a particular species. The book also contains many fine illustrations from the accomplished illustrator Lucia deLeiris and photographs by the author.
"This fascinating treatise on this interesting bird's life is very informative and would be an asset to any library." — Choice
"This book is a testimony to a life's work on a fasicnating bird in an exciting environment... Although the book is very correct and the tone is humble, it is at the same time very personal and entertaining." — Ibis
"[This book] reflects state-of-the-art ornithological and ecological knowledge of these charming birds... Most highly recommended to birders, ornithologists, and the academic libraries they haunt worldwide." — International Hawkwatcher
"Ainley clearly implies that long-term research on Adelie penguins may offer a unique window through which to examine contemporary ecological issues related to global climate change and its effects on the structure and function of ecosystems." — William R. Fraser, Ecology
"The book is valuable and thought provoking because it will draw the attention of readers to both the obvious direct and the subtle indirect ties between the birds and the many types of sea ice that characterize and shape their environment." — Theresa L. Bucher, Quarterly Review of Biology
"a delightfully written volume that is certain to please the amateur birder, the polar traveler, and the serious academic ornithologist...jolly good show" — William J. L. William, Bioscience
"this is an excellent book on the Adelie Penguin...this book will hold [readers'] attention" — Gerald Kooyman, The Condor
Outline of the Present Volume
2. Marine Ecology
3. Breeding Populations: Size and Distribution
4. The Annual Cycles
5. The Occupation Period: Pair Formation. Egg Laying and Incubation
6. Reoccupation Period: Chicks and Breeding Success
9. The Bellwether of Climate Change