Te Papa’s curator of terrestrial vertebrates Dr Colin Miskelly tells the 12th, and probably final, instalment of the story of the emperor penguin that went where none had gone before. Previous blogs on the penguin were posted between 23 June 2011 and 24 April 2012.
For those of you interested in seeing the official account of the emperor penguin’s discovery, care, release and post-release monitoring, the following paper was published in the December 2012 issue of Notornis (the journal of the Ornithological Society of New Zealand):
Miskelly, C.M.; Simpson, P.M.; Argilla, L.S.; Cockrem, J.F. 2012. Discovery, care, and post-release monitoring of a vagrant emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri). Notornis 59 (3&4): 116-122.
Abstract We report on the discovery, care, release, and post-release monitoring of the 2nd vagrant emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) recorded from New Zealand. An immature male emperor penguin came ashore at Peka Peka Beach (40° 50’ S) 56 km north-east of Wellington on 20 Jun 2011. Its condition deteriorated over the following 4 days, and it was taken into care at Wellington Zoo on 24 Jun. Following 72 days of rehabilitation, the bird was released at sea at 51° 42’ S, 78 km north of subantarctic Campbell I, on 4 Sep 2011. He was tracked, via satellite transmitter, moving south-east for 113 km until 9 Sep, after which no further signals were received. The arrival, care and release of this penguin attracted unprecedented levels of public and media interest for a vagrant bird to New Zealand.
The paper is accessible online to members of the Ornithological Society of New Zealand at http://notornis.osnz.org.nz/publications, and will be freely available to all 12 months after publication.
Previous blogs on this topic:
The global penguin – Part 1. How a lone emperor ventured into superstardom
The global penguin – Part 2. The young emperor penguin pushes the boundaries and is taken into care
The global penguin – Part 3. No latitude for error: a young emperor penguin a long way from home
The global penguin – Part 4. How to track a wandering emperor penguin
The global penguin – Part 5. The rocky road to fame
The global penguin – Part 6. Hitching a ride south
The global penguin – Part 7. The wandering emperor penguin enters the technological age
The global penguin – Part 8. Free at last!
The global penguin – Part 9. Heading home, or heading east?
The global penguin – Part 10. It’s only a game
The global penguin – Part 11. How old was the Peka Peka emperor penguin?