Book Details

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    • October 2002
    • 9780231123068
  • 416 Pages
  • 73 Illustrations

  • Hardcover
  • $75.00
  • / £52.00


    • October 2002
    • 9780231507325
  • 416 Pages
  • 73 Illustrations

  • E-book
  • $74.99
  • / £51.50

The Adélie Penguin

Bellwether of Climate Change

David Ainley. with illustrations by Lucia deLeiris

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.

About the Author

David Ainley is an environmental consultant based in Sausalito, California. He has researched the Adélie penguin for over thirty years and has made twenty-two trips to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. He is author of three books and over one hundred and fifty scientific papers.

This fascinating treatise on this interesting bird's life is very informative and would be an asset to any library.

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.

[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.

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

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

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

this is an excellent book on the Adelie Penguin...this book will hold [readers'] attention

Gerald Kooyman

1. Introduction2. Marine Ecology3. Size And Distribution of Breeding Populations4. The Annual And Nesting Cycles5. The Occupation Period - Pair Formation. Egg Laying and Incubation6. Reoccupation Period - Chicks and Breeding Success7. Predation8. Demography9. The Bellwether Of Climate ChangeLiterature Cited