Mobile
Action Join Donate
MarineBio Conservation Society Ocean Conservation Marine Life Species Database Education+Careers Projects Sponsors Contributors Photos Videos News Contact
pinterest

Yellow-Eyed Penguins, Megadyptes antipodes

Loading species photos...
Loading species photos...

Description & Behavior

Yellow-eyed penguins, Megadyptes antipodes (Hombron and Jacquinot, 1841), are an extremely rare species, with a population estimated at only 1,200-1,600 breeding pairs. This species stands 65 cm tall and weighs 5-6 kg, which makes it the 4th largest of all penguin species. They have distinctive yellow eyes and a bright yellow stripe that runs across their eyes and around their heads. Juveniles are similar to adults except for the yellow stripe, which they develop around 1 year.

Yellow-eyed penguins are the least social of all penguin species and do not form breeding colonies, rather they build individual nests in scrub brush or other dense vegetation.

World Range & Habitat

Yellow-eyed penguins, Megadyptes antipodes, are found on the southeast coast of the South Island of New Zealand and south to Campbell Island.

Feeding Behavior (Ecology)

Yellow-eyed penguins, Megadyptes antipodes, feed on small fish such as blue cod, red cod, and silversides and cephalopods such as arrow squid. This species forages during the day and returns to its coastal home at night as far as 1 km inland. They forage in deep water up to 160 m for an average of 4 minutes and up to 50 km offshore.

Life History

Yellow-eyed penguins, Megadyptes antipodes, have a very long breeding season that begins in August with courtship and ends in March with fledgling. They form monogamous pairs and share incubation and brooding duties. In March, the parents spend about a month feeding to gain 2 to 3 kg before molting season begins when they will be confined to the shore for 3 weeks.

Conservation Status & Comments

Over many decades, yellow-eyed penguin populations have been decimated by land mammal predators. However, a number of New Zealand-based conservation efforts are underway and protected areas have been established to ensure the survival of this rare and endangered species.

Yellow-eyed penguins, Megadyptes antipodes, are listed as Endangered B2b(iii)c(iv) (EN) on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species:

ENDANGERED (EN)
A taxon is Endangered when it is not Critically Endangered but is facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future, as defined by any of the criteria (A to E) as described here.

References & Further Research

Center for Biological Diversity: Penguins
Yellow-eyed Penguin, Wikipedia
Yellow-eyed Penguin, Megadyptes antipodes - International Penguin Conservation Working Group
New Zealand Penguins, by Dave Houston

Research Megadyptes antipodes » Barcode of Life ~ BioOne ~ Biodiversity Heritage Library ~ CITES ~ Cornell Macaulay Library [audio / video] ~ Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) ~ ESA Online Journals ~ FishBase ~ Florida Museum of Natural History Ichthyology Department ~ GBIF ~ Google Scholar ~ ITIS ~ IUCN RedList (Threatened Status) ~ Marine Species Identification Portal ~ NCBI (PubMed, GenBank, etc.) ~ Ocean Biogeographic Information System ~ PLOS ~ SIRIS ~ Tree of Life Web Project ~ UNEP-WCMC Species Database ~ WoRMS

Search for Yellow-Eyed Penguins » ARKive ~ Ask.com ~ Bing ~ dmoz ~ Flickr ~ Google ~ OceanFootage ~ Picsearch ~ Wikipedia ~ Yahoo! Images ~ YouTube

Feedback & Citation

Start or join a discussion about this species below or send us an email to report any errors or submit suggestions for this page. We greatly appreciate all feedback!


~^~ surface

Help Protect and Restore Ocean Life

Help us protect and restore marine life by supporting our various online community-centered marine conservation projects that are effectively sharing the wonders of the ocean with millions each year around the world, raising a balanced awareness of the increasingly troubling and often very complex marine conservation issues that affect marine life and ourselves directly, providing support to marine conservation groups on the frontlines that are making real differences today, and the scientists, teachers and students involved in the marine life sciences. Join us today or show your support with a monthly donation.

With your support, most marine life and their ocean habitats can be protected, if not restored to their former natural levels of biodiversity. We sincerely thank our thousands of members, donors and sponsors, who have decided to get involved and support the MarineBio Conservation Society.