Scenario 7 — Penguin mortality

You are out in the field and come across 20 dead Adélie penguins, with no cause apparent. You do notice that they seem to have foam around their beaks. What should you do?

  1. You do not touch anything, but note the location and leave.
  2. You collect one penguin and bring it back to the station for examination by the doctor and biologist.
  3. You walk around the rest of the colony to see if there are any more dead penguins so that you can make an accurate report.

You chose answer (a).

This is the preferred option. Mark the location, get a GPS location if possible and take photos if you have your camera. Report the incident to your station leader who may organise a field party to implement the Unusual Animal Mortality Response Plan.

If you touch a dead bird, or walk around the colony, you may be at risk of spreading a disease.

You chose answer (b).

This is the most damaging response as you may disturb the site and be at risk of contracting the disease yourself, or spreading it to other birds.

Do not walk around the colony, and do not touch anything.

Mark the location, get a GPS location if possible and take photos if you have your camera.

Report the incident to your station leader who may organise a field party to implement the Unusual Animal Mortality Response Plan.

You chose answer (c).

By walking around the area you may disturb the site and be at risk of contracting the disease yourself, or spreading it to other birds.

Mark the location, get a GPS location if possible and take photos if you have your camera.

Report the incident to your station leader who may organise a field party to implement the Unusual Animal Mortality Response Plan.

Next scenario

Expeditioners walking across an icy landscape
Young seal on the ice
A group of penguins walking across the ice
Expeditioner sitting on the ice, looking out across the landscape