The current distribution of Adelie penguin breeding colonies in the AAT is being mapped through a series of 'occupancy' surveys.
A GIS of potential Adelie penguin breeding habitat was developed to structure the overall search effort. Information about the GIS is given in Southwell et al. (2009) and in the child metadata record 'Potential Adelie penguin breeding habitat in the Australian Antarctic ... Territory' with Entry ID ASAC_2722_Occupancy_Surveys_potential_breeding_habitat.
The AAT coastline was broken into groups and subgroups which were surveyed when logistics allowed. All sites of potential habitat in each section were searched and a record of whether breeding penguins were present or absent was made. Most surveys were undertaken during the Adelie penguin breeding season when breeding penguins would have been present; any surveys outside the breeding season made observations of the presence or absence of guano. Most surveys have been undertaken from aircraft (both helicopters and fixed wing), but some have been done from the ground.
Maps of potential breeding habitat in the groups and subgroups were produced from the GIS to use in the field surveys. The data recorded for each search campaign included the latitude and longitude of the centroid of each site that was searched, the data of search, the observer(s), and the state of occupancy (present or absent).