Fiordland penguin

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Fiordland penguin
Fiordland penguin (Mattern).jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Sphenisciformes
Family: Spheniscidae
Genus: Eudyptes
Species: E. pachyrhynchus
Binomial name
Eudyptes pachyrhynchus
G. R. Gray, 1845
Fiordland Penguin distribution map.png
Distribution of the Fiordland penguin

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".[2] 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".[2]


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 lb), with a weight range of 2 to 5.95 kg (4.4 to 13.1 lb).[3] 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[edit]

This penguin nests in colonies in dense temperate forest. It breeds along the Fiordland coast and its outlying islands as well as on Stewart Island/Rakiura.


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.[4]


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.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Eudyptes pachyrhynchus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Liddell, Henry George and Robert Scott (1980). A Greek-English Lexicon (Abridged Edition). United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-910207-4. 
  3. ^ CRC Handbook of Avian Body Masses by John B. Dunning Jr. (Editor). CRC Press (1992), ISBN 978-0-8493-4258-5.
  4. ^ van Heezik, Y: Diet of the Fiordland Crested penguin during the post-guard phase of chick growth, Notornis 36: 151-156 (1989)

External links[edit]