Fiordland Penguins Eudyptes pachyrhynchus are found from the southwestern coast of the South Island of New Zealand, to the nearby islands of Stewart and Solander.
(Stonehouse 1975; Simpson 1976)
Biogeographic Regions: australian (Native )
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
The Fiordland Penguin, also known as the thick-billed penguin, has an average length of 55cm (21 in). The head and body of this penguin are black, with the exception of its white front and the white markings on its cheeks. Fiordland Penguins have a crest of brilliant yellow feathers which are visible at the base of the bill and extend over the eye. Fiordland Penguins are monomorphic, that is the male and female look alike. Fiordland Penguin chicks have gray-brown backs with white fronts.
(Barham 2000; Stonehouse 1975; Lynch 1997)
Range mass: 2000 to 5000 g.
Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry
Fiordland penguins have a pelagic aquatic habitat (open ocean). They will spend up to 75% of their lives in the ocean during the winter, as a result barnacles often attach themselves to the penguins tail. The other 25% of the Fiordlands life is spent on secluded land areas during the breeding season.
(Lynch 1997; Sparks and Soper 1987)
Terrestrial Biomes: forest
Habitat and Ecology
Fiordland Penguins feed in coastal waters, particularly during the breeding season. Fiordlands have a diet consisting of crustaceans, small fish, and squid. (Barham 2000; Sparks and Soper 1987)
Life History and Behavior
Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical
The Fiordland Penguin typically locates its breeding site inland from the coast (distances vary), with some nest sites at areas up to 100m above sea level. Nesting in loose colonies, Fiordlands locate their nests seperate and out of sight from one another. Unlike most crested penguins, the Fiordland Penguin does not nest in the open. Fiordland nests can be located in caves, under logs, at the base of trees, and under bushes (particularly away from sand flies).
Fiordland males return to the nesting sites in July, two weeks before the females. Shortly after the females arrive they mate. Soon after, the female Fiordland will lay two pale-green eggs, which incubate for 4-6 weeks. It is unusual for both of the eggs to hatch, but when they do, the parents are unable to gather enough food for both chicks. The result is the death of the smaller sibling. For the first 2-3 weeks of the chicks life, the male will stay and guard the nest while the female retrieves and regurgitates food for her young. In a couple of weeks both parents will search for food while leaving the chicks either alone or in loose creches (breeding groups). At about 75 days old, the Fiordland chicks will moult, and go to sea.
(Simpson 1976; Barham 2000)
Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; oviparous
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Eudyptes pachyrhynchus
Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.
See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.
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Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Eudyptes pachyrhynchus
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 13
Species With Barcodes: 1
In the mid 1980's, it was estimated that there were 5,000 to 10,000 breeding pairs of Fiordland Penguins. Currently, there are an estimated 1,000 to 2,500 breeding pairs. The populations are upset by introduced predators such as ferrets, skuas, and wekas. Natural predators include fur seals, stoats, and larger predatory fish. (Barham 2000; Stonehouse 1975)
US Federal List: no special status
CITES: no special status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: vulnerable
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
Date Listed: 09/02/2010
Lead Region: Foreign (Region 10)
Where Listed: Entire
Population location: Entire
Listing status: T
For most current information and documents related to the conservation status and management of Eudyptes pachyrhynchus , see its USFWS Species Profile
The Open Bay Island population has been the focus of several recent studies. The Department of Conservation had planned to monitor all colonies for five years followed by five years rest, but, owing to difficulties censusing the species because pairs within colonies are well dispersed under tree-cover, and because disturbance by surveyors was thought to be increasing predation rate, only a selection of colonies are partially monitored every two years. Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey areas of coastline not surveyed in the 1990s. Quantify the effect of predators on island and mainland sites (Ellis et al. 1998). Eradicate G. australis from Big Solander Island (Taylor 2000). Complete a detailed study on foraging ecology to identify potential competition with commercial fisheries and the effects of climatic variation (Ellis et al. 1998). Establish guidelines to control visitor access to colonies. Obtain legal protection for accessible colony sites (Taylor 2000).
The Fiordland crested penguin (Eudyptes pachyrhynchus), also known as tawaki (Maori), is a species of crested penguin from New Zealand. It breeds along the Fiordland coast and its outlying islands as well as on Stewart Island/Rakiura.
Also known as the Fiordland crested penguin, the Fiordland penguin was described in 1845 by English zoologist George Robert Gray, its specific epithet derived from the Ancient Greek pachy-/παχυ- "thick" and rhynchos/ρύγχος "beak". It is one of six species in the genus Eudyptes, the generic name derived from the Ancient Greek eu/ευ "good" and dyptes/δύπτης "diver".
They are medium-sized, yellow-crested, black-and-white penguins, growing to approximately 60 cm (24 in) long and weighing on average 3.7 kg (8.2 lbs), with a weight range of 2 to 5.95 kg (4.4 to 13.1 lb). It has dark, bluish-grey upperparts with a darker head, and white underparts. It has a broad, yellow eyebrow-stripe which extends over the eye and drops down the neck. Most birds have three to six whitish stripes on the face.
Distribution and habitat
The main prey species reported for Fiordland penguins are cephalopods (85%, mainly arrow squid, Nototodarus sloanii), followed by crustaceans (13%, primarily krill, Nyctiphanes australis) and fish (2%, mainly red cod and hoki). However, the importance of cephalopods might be exaggerated.
The current status of this penguin is threatened due to its small population. Current population estimates range between 2,500-3,000 pairs and is thought to have declined since the late 1980s by around 33%. It is under threat from introduced predators including dogs, cats, stoats and rats.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Eudyptes pachyrhynchus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Liddell, Henry George and Robert Scott (1980). A Greek-English Lexicon (Abridged Edition). United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-910207-4.
- CRC Handbook of Avian Body Masses by John B. Dunning Jr. (Editor). CRC Press (1992), ISBN 978-0-8493-4258-5.
- van Heezik, Y: Diet of the Fiordland Crested penguin during the post-guard phase of chick growth, Notornis 36: 151-156 (1989)
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