Behavioral responses of Magellanic Penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) (Foster) to saltwater versus freshwater. Academic Article uri icon


  • The most common penguin species found along the coast of Brazil is the Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus). These penguins spend most of their time foraging for food in the oceans. This information is vital to the maintenance of this species in captivity. The goal of this study was to evaluate the behavioral response of a group of Magellanic Penguins (S. magellanicus) in two different conditions of water--fresh and salt. The work was divided into two phases. First, animals were kept in enclosures with access to freshwater. Then they were housed with access to saltwater. Behaviors were recorded by scan sampling per interval of time, totaling 7,200 records for each animal. The results show that the use of saltwater for this group of animals kept in captivity was more effective for increasing the time the animals spent in the water, increasing foraging behavior, stimulating swimming, and providing display of typical behaviors of the species, showing that access to a saltwater environment is an important tool in trying to provide well-being for this species in captivity.

published proceedings

  • Zoo Biol

altmetric score

  • 154.7

author list (cited authors)

  • Reisfeld, L., Moraes, K., Spaulussi, L., Cardoso, R. C., Ippolito, L., Gutierrez, R., Silvatti, B., & Pizzutto, C. S.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Reisfeld, Laura||Moraes, Kaue||Spaulussi, Lygia||Cardoso, Ricardo Cesar||Ippolito, Laura||Gutierrez, Rafael||Silvatti, Bruna||Pizzutto, Cristiane Schilbach

publication date

  • September 2013