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Determining the sex of Little Penguins (Eudyptula minor) in northern Bass Strait using morphometric measurements

Arnould, John, Dann, P. and Cullen, M. 2004, Determining the sex of Little Penguins (Eudyptula minor) in northern Bass Strait using morphometric measurements, Emu : official organ of the Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union, vol. 104, no. 3, pp. 261-265.

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Title Determining the sex of Little Penguins (Eudyptula minor) in northern Bass Strait using morphometric measurements
Formatted title Determining the sex of Little Penguins (Eudyptula minor) in northern Bass Strait using morphometric measurements
Author(s) Arnould, John
Dann, P.
Cullen, M.
Journal name Emu : official organ of the Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union
Volume number 104
Issue number 3
Start page 261
End page 265
Publisher Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union
Place of publication North Melbourne, Vic.
Publication date 2004
ISSN 0158-4197
1448-5540
Summary In avian species with no obvious differences in plumage or body size between the sexes, such as penguins, discriminant function analysis (DFA) of morphometric measurements that display sexual dimorphism can provide a simple and rapid means of determining sex in the field. Like most other penguin species, the Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor) displays sexual dimorphism in bill shape and size. In the present study, discriminant functions (DFs) were developed for sexing adult Little Penguins at two colonies in northern Bass Strait, Victoria, Australia, and their accuracies were compared with those obtained previously in other parts of the species' range. Backwards stepwise DFA indicated that birds at Phillip Island can be sexed with an accuracy of 91% using a single measurement of bill depth (>13.33 mm classed as males). Similar analyses at Gibson Steps produced a DF incorporating bill length, bill depth and head length [although the model with the greatest accuracy when applied to birds from Phillip Island (91%) also contained only bill depth]. Published DFs derived in New Zealand had accuracies of 50–85% when applied to birds from Phillip Island and Gibson Steps, supporting earlier suggestions that DFs are not applicable across subspecies of the Little Penguin. In contrast, there was little difference between the accuracy of the DFs in the present study and that previously derived for the same subspecies in Tasmania when applied to birds from Phillip Island (89%) and Gibson Steps (92%). However, as the degree of variation in bill size within a subspecies is unknown it may still be prudent to derive colony-specific DFs.
Language eng
Field of Research 060803 Animal Developmental and Reproductive Biology
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2004, Royal Australiasian Ornithologists Union
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30002781

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.