New Zealand king shag

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New Zealand king shag
New zealand king shag.jpg
New Zealand king shags
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Suliformes
Family: Phalacrocoracidae
Genus: Leucocarbo
Species: L. carunculatus
Binomial name
Leucocarbo carunculatus
Gmelin, 1789

Phalacrocorax carunculatus

The New Zealand king shag (Leucocarbo carunculatus), also known as the rough-faced shag or king shag, is a rare bird endemic to New Zealand.

Some taxonomic authorities, including the International Ornithologists' Union, place this species in the genus Leucocarbo. Others place it in the genus Phalacrocorax.


It is a large (76 cm long, 2.5 kg in weight) black and white cormorant with pink feet. White patches on the wings appear as bars when the wings are folded. Yellow-orange swellings (caruncles) are found above the base of the bill. The grey gular pouch is reddish in the breeding season. A blue eye-ring indicates its kinship with the other blue-eyed shags. They can be seen from the Cook Strait ferries in Queen Charlotte Sound opposite the beginning of the Tory Channel.[citation needed]


New Zealand king shags live in the coastal waters of the Marlborough Sounds where they are known to breed only on rocky islets at four small sites.[2]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Phalacrocorax carunculatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ BirdLife International. (2012). Important Bird Areas factsheets: Duffers Reef. Sentinel Rock. Trio Islands. White Rocks. Downloaded from on 2012-02-03.

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