Yellow Eyed Penguin Facts
- Unfortunately, the rather stunning Yellow Eyed Penguin now ranks as one of the rarest varieties of penguin in the world.
- But, regardless of its scant numbers, this amazing bird actually has one of the longest natural lifespans of any related species, at 20+ years.
- However, few individuals reach this age, due to a variety of reasons, many of which are not part of its natural environment.
- The primary threats that the magnificent creature faces include habitat degradation and also the introduction of non-native predators.
- It has an estimated remaining population of fewer than 4,000 individuals, so the IUCN now lists it as Endangered.
Yellow Eyed Penguin Physical Description
Regardless of its rather distinctive appearance, the marvelous Yellow Eyed Penguin nevertheless remains a roughly mid-sized penguin.
However, the animal does display a slight degree of sexual dimorphism, with males being both slightly larger and longer-lived than females.
Mature adults also reach a height of 24-31 in (62-79 cm). However, weights vary significantly, depending on the time of the year, from 6.6 – 18 lb (3-8 kg).
In addition to the typical black back, it also has a pale yellowish head, a multi-colored beak, and the distinctive yellow eyes.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Aves
- Order: Sphenisciformes
- Family: Spheniscidae
- Genus: Megadyptes
- Species: M. antipodes
Yellow Eyed Penguin Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Most importantly, the marvelous Yellow Eyed Penguin, unfortunately, has an extremely restricted and rather isolated natural habitat range.
It remains endemic to only specific portions of New Zealand , including South Island, and also the Auckland, Stewart, and Campbell Islands.
Further, this amazing avian typically nests in regions of either scrub or forest, on gentle slopes or the shore itself, in small bays or headlands.
Similar to related species, its diet also consists mainly of small fish caught near the seafloor and augmented with the occasional small cephalopod.
Finally, a reserve was created for this amazing species in 2007 that includes a portion of its native nesting area, in an effort to assist in its preservation.