Penguin name: Snares Island penguin
Scientific name: Eudyptes robustus
Size: 20 inches tall
Location: Snares Island, New Zealand territory
What Do They Eat? These penguins like krill, fish and squid, like their cousins
Main enemies: Predatory birds
Photo by Lin Padgham
Snares Island penguins love to hang out along the New Zealand coast. Perhaps that is because New Zealand has taken special care of them, protecting them from dangers caused by humans and provided them with their own protected breeding and feeding grounds.
Snares Island penguins are very few in number compared to many other penguin species. Because they weigh only 7 pounds, they are small and very vulnerable to dangers in water and on land. They live on and around Snares Island in New Zealand, on its southern coastline. Snare Island penguins don’t migrate, and so the government of New Zealand has taken special care to help provide the penguins with areas that are not bothered by humans. No humans are allowed near their breeding grounds and may only photograph them with special permission. Still, the penguins have to keep a sharp eye out for sea lions and other large sea animals.
Snares Island penguins are a breed of crested penguins, and have long white ‘eyebrows’ that extend from the front of their beaks, over their eyes, and flare out over their heads. They love to swim in the warmer waters of the New Zealand coast and feed on shallow water fish and krill.
This breed of penguin makes nests out of twigs, leaves, branches and grass, much like birds do. They lay two eggs, but the first one laid does not usually hatch. After birth, the male penguin keeps careful watch over the baby chick for around three weeks while the mother looks for food. After about 2 months or so, the baby penguin is able to look after itself and joins the colony as a self-sufficient member of the colony.