Snares Island Penguin

Snares Island Penguin



COMMON NAME: Snares Island penguin
KINGDOM: Animalia
PHYLUM: Chordata
ORDER: Sphenisciformes
FAMILY: Spheniscidae
GENUS SPECIES: Eudyptes robustus


DESCRIPTION: Snares Island penguins have a crest of yellow plumes that extend behind the eyes. Snares Island penguins are identified from other crested species by the bare pink patch of skin at the base of their bill.
MALE Males can be larger in size than females and also have a thicker bill.
SIZE: up to 64 cm (25 in.)
WEIGHT: 2.5-3 kg (6-7 lb.)
DIET: euphausiid shrimp, squids, fishes
INCUBATION: 31-37 days
SEXUAL MATURITY: 6 years old
LIFE SPAN: 15-20 years
RANGE: Snares Island penguins are found south of New Zealand in the Snares Islands (all within 3 sq. km.).
HABITAT: Nests in muddy, forested areas and on rocky slopes.
POPULATION: GLOBAL about 62,000 mature penguins
STATUS: IUCN Vulnerable
CITES Not listed
USFWS Not listed


1. For more information about penguins, explore the PENGUIN INFOBOOK.


The low population number and limited breeding areas and distribution make the Snares Island 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.


BirdLife International (2006) Species factsheet: Eudyptes robustus. Downloaded from

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

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