Yellow Eyed Penguin

Yellow-Eyed Penguin

Scientific Classification

Common Name
yellow-eyed penguin
Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Sphenisciformes
Family
Spheniscidae
Genus Species
Megadyptes antipodes

Fast Facts

Description
As their name implies, yellow-eyed penguins have pale yellow eyes. Their head is also pale yellow. A band of bright yellow extends from their eyes around the back of the head.
Size
Up to 76 cm (30 in.)
Weight
Up to 6 kg (3 lbs.)
Diet
Fishes and squids
Incubation
39–51 days
Clutch Size: 2 eggs
Sexual Maturity
Male: 4–5 years
Female: 2–3 years
Life Span
15–20 years
Range
southeast New Zealand
Habitat
Areas with dense vegetation near the coast.
Population
Global: estimated 5,930 to 6,970 mature individuals
Status 
IUCN: Endangered
CITES: Not listed
USFWS: Not listed

Fun Facts

  1. Yellow-eyed penguins lay two eggs and parents typically raise both chicks, which can be nearly equal in size.
  2. The voice of the yellow-eyed penguin is semi-musical when compared to other penguin calls.
  3. For more information about penguins, explore the Penguin InfoBook.

Ecology and Conservation

Introduced predators such as cats, stoat and ferrets have impacted yellow-eyed penguin populations. Habitat degradation, avian malaria, food shortages due to sea temperature changes, human disturbances, drowning in fishing nets, and accidental fires are all threats to yellow-eyed penguins.

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.


Bibliography

BirdLife International (2006) Species factsheet: Megadyptes antipodes. Downloaded from birdlife.org

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

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