Megadyptes – Yellow-eyed penguin

The vanishing yellow-eyed penguin

The yellow-eyed penguin is one of the rarest & most ancient of all living penguins. Features include a yellow uncrested band passing across the crown up-to-the eyes & a black-flecked yellowish face with fawn-brown sides.

Endemic to New Zealand with the New Zealand subantarctic populations genetically distinct from those in the South Island. Non-colonial species with nesting sites in coastal forests, regenerating coastal scrub, plantations, and cliffs may be up to a kilometer inland. They are an exclusive benthic forager.

Today an estimated population is 3400 & trends indicate the possibility of local extinction in the next 20 to 40 years; the main threats include habitat degradation & introduced predators.