You are viewing this Taxon as classified by:

Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

The erect-crested penguin is an extremely social bird that breeds in large, raucous colonies of several thousand pairs, usually alongside rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes chrysocome) (4) (6). This species uses a number of displays and vocalisations, utilised particularly in the courtship and breeding season and in aggressive territorial behaviour during mate matching or when defending nesting sites (3) (6). Courtship displays include an enthusiastic greeting with an open bill, vertical head swinging, trumpeting, quivering, bowing and preening (3). Aggressive displays include use of the crests, growling and barking, while direct fighting involves twisting of locked bills or biting of the enemy on the neck while beating them with the flipper (3) (6). Males usually return to the breeding site in September, and compete fiercely for prime nesting sites (6) (7). The females join the males two weeks later and work together to construct nests made of mud, stones and grass (3). Two eggs are laid in early October, although the first egg, which is noticeably smaller than the second, is usually lost (4) (6). The second egg is up to twice as large as the first, and is the only one seriously incubated (5). The male and female take turns incubating the egg for about 35 days (3) (6). After hatching, the chicks are fed regurgitated food by the female until they fledge in February. For three to four weeks the male stands guard without food while the female forages and returns daily to feed the chick (3) (6). Adults return to the sea for the (austral) winter after moulting in March (3) (7). Little is known about the feeding habits of the erect-crested penguin, but the main sources of food are thought to be krill and squid, occasionally supplemented by small fish (2) (6).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Description

Erect-crested penguins are perhaps some of the most mysterious of all penguin species (4). This species is one of the largest of the crested penguins and shares with the Fiordland and Snares crested penguins the distinctive feature of an upward-sweeping crest of long, yellow brush-like feathers above each eye, extending from the base of the bill to the top of the head (4) (5). Unlike other crested penguins, however, the erect-crested penguin is able to raise and lower these stiff crest feathers (4). With its black back and white belly, this species sports the classic penguin 'tuxedo look'. The upper sides of the wings are black with a white edge and the lower sides are white with a black patch at the tip. Males are generally larger than females, and both sexes have long, slender beaks that are dark brown-orange in colour (3).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Distribution

Range Description

Eudyptes sclateri breeds on the Bounty and Antipodes Islands (1 km2 and 20 km2 respectively), New Zealand. In 1978, the population on the Bounty Islands was estimated at 115,000 pairs, spread over nine tiny islands (Robertson and van Tets 1982). A survey in 1997-1998 estimated a total of 28,000 breeding pairs (Clark et al. 1998, J. Amey per A. M. Booth in litt. 1999). Census methods differed, making comparisons less useful (Taylor 2000); however, the 2011 survey shows a further 8% decline using the same methodology as in 1997-1998 (J. Hiscock in litt. 2012). The population on the Antipodes in 1978 was believed to be of a similar size to the Bounty Islands in the same year. In 1995, ground surveys indicated c.49,000-57,000 pairs (Taylor 2000), representing a decline of c.50% in 20 years. The survey in 2011 shows a further decline, with c.41,000 pairs counted, representing a decline of 23% (J. Hiscock in litt. 2012). The population on Campbell Island numbered 20-30 pairs in 1986-1987, but no breeding was seen. A few hundred birds bred there in the 1940s (Taylor 2000). Winter distribution at sea is largely unknown, the only records being from the Cook Strait and off the east coast of the South Island (Marchant and Higgins 1990).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Eudyptes sclateri breed on the Antipodes and Bounty Islands with smaller numbers observed to breed on the Auckland and Campbell Islands. While not breeding, E. sclateri inhabit the subantarctic oceans, although the exact location during non-breeding months is unknown (Houston 1998).

Biogeographic Regions: oceanic islands (Native ); arctic ocean (Native )

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Range

Subantarctic New Zealand and Australian waters.
  • 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/

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Historic Range:


Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Range

The majority of the breeding population occurs on the Bounty and Antipodes Islands, with smaller numbers on the Auckland and Campbell Islands, New Zealand. The non-breeding winter distribution is spent at sea in the sub-Antarctic oceans, although the exact location is unknown (6).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Physical Description

Morphology

Eudyptes sclateri are approximately 65 cm tall and at the maximum weight, which occurs before molting, weigh about 6.5 kg. The males are generally larger. In the adult, the coloration of the head, upper throat, and cheeks are a very dark black. There is a broad yellow stripe that starts near the face, which rises over the eye to form the erect crest. The body and upper parts, along with the tail, are blue-black while the under parts are white. The dorsal side of the flipper is blue-black with a white edge, while the ventral side is white with a black patch at the tip of the flipper. The beak is long and slim with brown-orange coloring. The chicks have gray-brown upper parts and white under parts. Juveniles have a slight coloration difference from the adults but the main defining feature is the shorter crest (Williams 1995; Barham and Barham 1996).

Average mass: 6000 g.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It nests in large, dense, conspicuous colonies, numbering thousands of pairs, on rocky terrain, often without substantial soil or vegetation, from the spray zone to 75 m elevation (Marchant and Higgins 1990, Heather and Robertson 1997). It feeds on krill and squid, and occasionally takes small fish (Heather and Robertson 1997).


Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Marine
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

During the winter months at sea, E. sclateri remain in the cool marine waters of the subantarctic. Their exact location has never been determined. They normally breed on the rocky Antipodes, Bounty, Campbell, and Auckland Islands in colonies that also include E. chrysocome. The islands are rocky with cliffs that provide for well-protected nests. There is very little vegetation and it normally includes short grasses and shrubs. These islands are located in the subantarctic waters south of New Zealand (Williams 1995; Barham and Barham 1996).

Terrestrial Biomes: chaparral

Aquatic Biomes: benthic ; coastal

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Nests are constructed in large, dense colonies on rocky terrain, often without substantial soil or vegetation, up to 75 m above sea level (2).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Trophic Strategy

Little is known about the feeding habits of E. sclateri but it is believed that the main sources of food are fish and crustaceans (Stonehouse 1975; Davis et.al. 1990).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Reproduction

Eudyptes sclateri pairs breed in large colonies usually with rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes chrysocome). The males usually return to the vicinity of the previous nesting site two weeks before the females return. The pre-egg stage is marked by lots of activity and fighting. The nest site is usually on flat rocky ground no higher than seventy meters above sea level. The female, who usually forms the nest cup, rotates on her breast and kicks and pushes dirt away from the cup with her feet. The male then usually rings the nest cup with rocks and mud and lines it with a little grass if it is available. Egg laying occurs in early October and lasts three to five days, during which time, the female fasts. The clutch normally contains two eggs with the second egg noticeably larger than the first. The eggs are normally a chalky pale blue or green and later become a light brown. After the second egg is laid, incubation begins and lasts for approximately thirty-five days. Usually, the first egg, which is smaller, is lost (at least ninety-eight percent of the time) and the second, larger egg is the only one to hatch. Males and females take turns incubating eggs. Two to three days after the eggs hatch, the female disappears and leaves the male to guard the nest. The guard stage lasts three to four weeks, during which period the male fasts and the female returns daily to feed the chick regurgitated food. The fledgling period, when the chicks leave the island, normally begins in February, at which point the chick enters adulthood (Richdale 1951; Stonehouse 1975; Muller-Schwarze 1984; Williams 1995).

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; oviparous

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Eudyptes sclateri

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
EN
Endangered

Red List Criteria
A2b;B2ab(i,ii,iv,v)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s
Booth, A., Hiscock, J., Houston, D. & Taylor, G.

Justification
This species is classified as Endangered because its population is estimated to have declined very rapidly over the last three generations, and it is almost certainly still declining. Furthermore, it has a very small breeding range, which may now be restricted to just two locations.


History
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)