Eating behaviour of the african penguin (spheniscus demersus) in the colony housed at the rome bioparco

Research by the Rome Bioparco in collaboration with the Department of Ecological and Biological Sciences – University of Tuscia, Viterbo

The African penguin is a species housed in the Bioparco.

In 2019 the Bioparco inaugurated a new structure destined to a nucleus of African penguins.

The project aims at analysing the eating behaviour of the African penguin to optimize its growth and well-being.

The goal is to identify the behaviours of the African penguin while it’s being fed and evaluating any differences during feeding at different times of the day, considering some variables (for example, distribution of food in the presence or absence of the public, direct administration of food or through environmental enrichment) and analysing the pecking order (study of social behaviour).

Moreover, some nutritional aspects related to the trophic resources provided to them will also be taken into consideration to identify the individual choice (generalists vs. specialists).