Rough-faced shag

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For the species from South America, Antarctica and southern ocean islands that sometimes is known as the king shag, see imperial shag.
Rough-faced shag
Australian pied cormorant (on the left)
and rough-faced shag (on the right)
(Illustration by John Gerrard Keulemans)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Suliformes
Family: Phalacrocoracidae
Genus: Phalacrocorax
Species: P. carunculatus
Binomial name
Phalacrocorax carunculatus
Gmelin, 1789

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


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]


Rough-faced 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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