Flipper bands impair penguin survival and breeding success

In the wild, you may occasionally see a penguin wearing a metal band around the base of one of its flippers. These bands aren’t the latest in penguin bling – they’re tools used by scientists to track the lives and movements of individuals. The bands are controversial – some say that they are innocuous, while others argue that they slow and hurt the very birds that scientist are trying to conserve. Now, Claire Saraux from the University of Strasbourg has evidence that might swing  the debate – a ten-year study showing that banded birds die sooner and raise fewer chicks.

Saraux’s study has serious implications for scientists who study penguins. The bands are popular because biologists only need a good

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