• Logged in as Unregistered User
  • Sign in

Social-Ecological Systems Meta-Analysis Database: Component

SummaryThe Royal Penguin is a penguin species found only on Macquarie island and surrounding islets and is closely related to the Macaroni Penguin with it whom it sometimes (but rarely) interbreeds.
SubtypeNatural Resource Unit
SectorMarine protected areas
Commons AggregationPopulation
ExplanationRoyal penguin are a species of penguin closely related to the more common and widely distributed Macaroni Penguin.
Commons BoundariesSomewhat unclear boundaries (2)
ExplanationBreeding boundaries are clear as they maintain high site fidelity to Macquarie island. However, less is known about their specific location and boundaries during the polar winter.
Commons Indicator["Ecosystem health and/or biodiversity"]
ExplanationThe Royal Penguin is used as an indicator of ecosystem health because they breed exclusively on Macquarie island; and thus are highly sensitive to changes in the quality of the ecosystem. However, between the months of approximately April to September they are found in the Open Ocean feeding on the polar front.
Commons Unit SizeSmall (2)
Environmental MediumOceanic
ExplanationFeeds on the ocean; but reproduces on land.
Inter Annual PredictabilityHigh (3)
ExplanationPopulations have remained stable; and annual breeding on Macquarie island allows for fairly accurate estimates of population size, although some breeding grounds are more difficult to access.
Intra Annual PredictabilityHigh (3)
ExplanationThere is little variation in population within years.
Commons RenewabilityRenewable (1)
ProductivityModerately Productive (2)
ExplanationThe royal penguin has in the past supported a commercial harvest mostly for oil. At its peak approximately 150,000 Royal (and King) penguins were harvested and did not appear to substantially affect stocks.
Commons AccessibilitySomewhat accessible (2)
ExplanationThe resource is accessible with modern forms of transportation, however, its vast distance from markets means that transportation costs might outweigh the benefits of harvesting and other activities.
Commons HeterogeneityModerate (2)
ExplanationDuring the breeding season the entire population of Royal penguins is concentrated in and around Macquarie Island; however they are more widely dispersed and patchy during the polar winter.
Commons MobilityHigh (3)
ExplanationRoyal penguins on Macquarie island have been known to travel up to 600 km to forage during the nesting season; travelling at speeds of between 4.6 and 7.8 km/h
Commons Spatial Extent2000000
ExplanationThis rough estimate is derived from estimates by the Australian Antarctic Division and refers to areas used by penguins for feeding. Breeding is confined to Macquarie Island and the nearby Bishop and Clerk Islets.
Technical SubstituteYes
ExplanationPenguin oil fell out of fashion in the early 1900's due to public condemnation as well as the availability of cheaper chemical substitutes.