Erect-Crested Penguin

Erect-Crested Penguin



COMMON NAME: erect-crested penguin
KINGDOM: Animalia
PHYLUM: Chordata
ORDER: Sphenisciformes
FAMILY: Spheniscidae
GENUS SPECIES: Eudyptes sclateri


DESCRIPTION: Erect-crested penguins are named for their crest of yellow plumes that are erect, or bristle up over their eyes.
SIZE: up to 64 cm (25 in.)
WEIGHT: 2.5-3.5 kg (6-8 lb.)
DIET: Krill, squids, and small fishes
INCUBATION: Approximately 1 month
LIFE SPAN: 15-20 years
RANGE: Erect-crested penguins are found along the coasts of Australia, New Zealand and on the Antipodes and Bounty Islands. However, they breed only on the Antipodes and Bounty Islands of New Zealand
HABITAT: Rocky coasts, cliffs, or beaches with or without grasses.
POPULATION: GLOBAL estimated 130,000-140,000 mature individuals
STATUS: IUCN Endangered
CITES Not listed
USFWS Not listed


1. Crested penguins (genus Eudyptes) lay two eggs. The second-laid egg and the subsequent chick is usually the larger of the two and usually the survivor. It typically hatches first or at the same time as the chick from the first-laid egg. The first-laid egg is often kicked out of the nest by the adults prior to hatching time.
2. For more information about penguins, explore the PENGUIN INFOBOOK.


Limited breeding areas and distribution make the erect-crested penguin vulnerable to a variety of natural and human disturbances.

All 18 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.


Coats, Judith. Penguins: Flightless Birds of the Southern Hemisphere. SeaWorld Education Department, 2001.

Nuzzolo, Debbie. Penguin March. SeaWorld Education Department, 2002.