Conservation and Research
SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund
Environmental Excellence Awards
Hubbs SeaWorld Research Institute
Reproductive Research Center
Camps and Sleepovers
Just for Teachers
Education Offering Highlights
Teacher Workshops and Training
little penguin, little blue penguin, fairy penguin
The little penguin is the smallest of the 17 penguin species. They have slate-blue to black feathers and a white chin and chest.
Up to 41 cm (16 in.)
Up to 1 kg (2 lb.)
2-3 years old
southern Australia and New Zealand
Sandy or rocky islands
350,000-600,000 adult penguins
Little penguins have bluish-gray eyes.
The maximum swimming speed for little penguins is about 2.5 kph (1.6 mph).
Little penguins can breed throughout the year and have the shortest breeding cycle of all penguin species, which lasts about 50 days.
Little penguins rely on burrows and a nocturnal lifestyle to avoid predators such as swamp harriers, peregrines, gulls, snakes, rats, and lizards.
For more information about penguins, explore the
ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION
All 17 penguin species are legally protected from hunting and egg collecting. The Antarctic Treaty of 1959 makes it illegal to harm, or in any way interfere with, a penguin or its eggs. Every penguin specimen collected with a permit must be approved by and reported to the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR). Penguins are vulnerable to habitat destruction, overfishing of primary food sources, ecological disasters such as oil spills, pollution such as trash in the ocean, and human encroachment into nesting areas.
BirdLife International (2006) Species factsheet:
. Downloaded from birdlife.org
Penguins: Flightless Birds of the Southern Hemisphere
. SeaWorld Education Department, 2001.
. SeaWorld Education Department, 2002.