A feather-loss disorder, first observed in captive African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) chicks in a South African rehabilitation center in 2006, was found one year later in wild Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) chicks in four colonies in Argentina. Two years later, it was found in African Penguin chicks in the wild. The featherless African Penguin chicks in the rehabilitation center (N = 176) lost their down and emerging juvenile feathers, remaining featherless for several weeks until they died (N = 31) or grew juvenile (N = 3) or adult plumage (N = 145) before being released. The featherless African Penguin chicks took 16 days longer to reach the rehabilitation center's standards for release than feathered chicks (t176 = -8.8, P < 0.00001). Likewise, the featherless wild Magellanic Penguin chicks (N = 13) lost their second coat of down, remaining featherless for several weeks; but those that survived to fledging all grew normal juvenile plumage (N = 4). Featherless Magellanic Penguin chicks grew more slowly and were smaller at fledgling age than most feathered chicks. The disorder in Africa and Argentina is new, rare, and more common in a rehabilitation center in Africa than in the wild. The cause of the feather loss is unknown, but the disorder results in slower growth, smaller fledglings, and appears to increase mortality in Magellanic Penguin chicks in the wild.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 33 • No. 3