This study aimed to quantify the effects of helicopter operations on Antarctic wildlife, with an emphasis on determining minimum safe over-flight altitudes and landing distances for a range of species. An experimental approach was adopted whereby wildlife were exposed to helicopters either over-flying or landing at specific altitudes or distances while the behaviour, and in some cases physiology, of individual animals were recorded. Two types of helicopters were used in the study: a Sikorsky S-76 (twin engine) and a Squirrel AS350 (single engine). This metadata record relates to the responses of Adélie Penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) over a number of phases of their breeding cycle.
Data collection completed. Analysis in progress. Adélie penguin behaviour was recorded on video and heart rate recorded using ECG transmitters while birds were exposed to controlled helicopter over-flights. Video tapes were analysed using &The Observer 3.0&, an interactive behaviour analysis program. Heart rate was downloaded from ECG units and stored as Excel files.
The data are available for download from the url given below. The data are in Observer format, but can be opened with any text editor (with a loss of functionality).