URBAN DOG ATTACKS ON MAGELLANIC PENGUINS IN A PROTECTED AREA
ANNICK MORGENTHALER; ANA MILLONES; ESTEBAN FRERE; BARRIONUEVO MELINA; MARIA EUGENIA DE SAN PEDRO; DIEGO PROCOPIO
Asociación Ornitológica del Plata
Lugar: Buenos Aires; Año: 2022 vol. 37 p. 207 - 215
The presence of unsupervised dogs in urban areas close to sites of high natural value can have negativeeffects on wildlife. On the Patagonian coast, where cities are often surrounded by natural environments,this problem may affect seabird colonies. Two islands with Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) coloniesbelonging to a protected area neighboring Puerto Deseado, Santa Cruz, suffered attacks by unsupervised dogs. In2016 and 2022, several dogs reached these islands during low tides and attacked penguins. At Isla Quiroga, 421penguins died in 2016, causing a decrease of 21.4% in its population. At Isla Quinta, 30 individuals died in 2016and 32 in 2022, representing in both cases almost 100% of the colony. These are the first records of attacks sincewe are monitoring these colonies (>30 years). The growth of coastal cities is constant and these events could becomemore frequent and affect more species of seabirds. The control of unsupervised dogs in natural areas nearcoastal developments is a challenge that government entities should respond to in the short term.