The fourth archipelago-wide census of Gentoo Penguins Pygoscelis papua breeding at the Falkland Islands was conducted from 24 October to 8 December 2010. The number of Gentoo Penguins breeding in 2010 was estimated to be 132 321 ± 2 015, the highest number of breeding pairs recorded for this species at the Falkland Islands since the first survey in 1933. The global population of Gentoo Penguins is conservatively estimated to be about 384 000 breeding pairs, of which the Falkland Islands accounts for 34%, probably the largest component of the global population. Annually monitored study colonies accounted for 20% of the total number of Gentoo Penguin breeding pairs at the Falkland Islands in 2010 and proved to be a reliable proxy for archipelago-wide changes in the number of breeding pairs. Recent trends at annually monitored study colonies, combined with archipelago-wide trends, indicate that the number of Gentoo Penguins breeding at the Falkland Islands has increased between 2005 to 2010. However, annual monitoring data also revealed large inter-annual variability in the number of breeding pairs, which makes assessing systematic population changes challenging.
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