- Other Geographic Terms
- island endemic
Yellow-eyed penguins inhabit island shorelines in New Zealand. Most of the shore is covered in coastal forest, where the penguins live and nest. These birds are primarily terrestrial and only enter the water to hunt. ("Penguins: Basic Facts", 2012; McKay, et al., 1999; Moore, 1999)
- Terrestrial Biomes
- Aquatic Biomes
- Average elevation
- 0 m
- 0.00 ft
Yellow-eyed penguins are relatively large in comparison to other penguins living in similar conditions. Their height ranges from 56 to 78 cm, with an average height of 70 cm. The mass of these penguins ranges from 5 to 8 kg. These physical characteristics make ("Penguins: Basic Facts", 2012; Massaro, et al., 2003; Moore and Wakelin, 1997; Van Heezik and Seddon, 1989)the largest penguin that does not live in the Antarctic. A defining trait of this particular penguin is their yellow eyes. The characteristic used to distinguish between adult and juvenile penguins is the presence of yellow plumage on the adult's heads. Yellow feathers are not present on juvenile penguins until they molt, around the age of one. exhibits sexual dimorphism: males have a carotenoid derived ornament. The difference in males and females can be seen in the pigmentation of the head feathers (plumage). Carotenoids are responsible for the bright yellow coloration of the male's head and are hypothesized to be a signal of parental quality, although few studies have been conducted on the subject.
- Sexual Dimorphism
- sexes colored or patterned differently
- male more colorful
- Range mass
- 5 to 8 kg
- 11.01 to 17.62 lb
- Range length
- 56 to 78 cm
- 22.05 to 30.71 in
- Average length
- 70 cm
- 27.56 in
- Mating System
crested penguins and has similar reproductive behavior. Yellow-eyed penguins reproduce during the same breeding season, every year. Their breeding season starts in the middle of August and typically lasts 28 weeks. During this time, penguins find a mate and build a nest where they will lay and incubate their eggs. This species lays only two eggs each year, this is a characteristic shared with other crested penguins. These eggs are laid at the same time, usually in September and October. Unlike many other penguin species, yellow-eyed penguins lay two similarly sized eggs that will both yield viable offspring. In contrast, many penguin species lay eggs of two different sizes. Since both eggs will yield viable offspring, they must incubate both. This is likely due to the amount of the hormone prolactin that is secreted. Once the eggs are laid, they take an average of 43 days to hatch; hatching typically occurs in November, after the incubation period. Juvenile yellow-eyed penguins usually reach sexually maturity after two to three years for females and three to four years for males. ("Penguins: Basic Facts", 2012; Massaro, et al., 2003; Setiawan, et al., 2006; Setiawan, et al., 2007)is a relative of
- Key Reproductive Features
- gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
- Breeding interval
- Yellow-eyed penguins breed annually.
- Breeding season
- Yellow-eyed penguins breed August through March.
- Range eggs per season
- 2 to 2
- Range time to hatching
- 38 to 54 days
- Average time to hatching
- 43 days
- Range fledging age
- 3 to 4.5 months
- Average fledging age
- 3.5 months
- Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)
- 2 to 3 years
- Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male)
- 3 to 4 years
- Average lifespan
- 23 years
- Average lifespan
- Average lifespan
- 23 years
- Average lifespan
Communication and Perception
Potential mates communicate acoustically, via shrill calls. Their nest sites are usually well hidden, this call is used for mates to find each other, as well as juveniles. They do not receive much social stimuli from other penguins due to their isolated nature and are easily startled by humans. ("Penguins: Basic Facts", 2012; Setiawan, et al., 2007)
- Communication Channels
Hemerocoetes monopterygius, red cods Pseudophycis bachus, blue cods Parapercis colias, silversides Argentina elongata and spats Sprattus antipodum. However, they also eat mollusks and some crustaceans including Nototodarus sloani and Nyctiphanes australis, respectively. Most of their hunting occurs off the coast of New Zealand at the edge of the continental shelf, making them marine predators. Their foraging behavior depends on the breeding season. Penguins that have not bred successfully travelled greater distances to hunt. Their trips off shore are relatively shorter than trips of other penguins of a similar size. (Croxall and Davis, 1999; Moore and Wakelin, 1997; Moore, 1999; Van Heezik and Seddon, 1989)has a diet that consists mostly of small prey, either juveniles or species whose adults are small. Yellow-eyed penguins are carnivores. Their diet is mainly composed of fishes including opalfish
- Animal Foods
- aquatic crustaceans
Predation is important to all animals and crucial to those animals that are threatened or endangered. humans. These predators include ferrets Mustela furo, feral house cats Felis catus, humans, and domestic dogs Canis lupus familiaris. Mustela furo and F. catus are responsible for predation of newly born penguins, while humans and C. lupus familiaris are the only terrestrial mammals that are capable of predation on adult yellow-eyed penguins. However, non-terrestrial predators include New Zealand sea lions Phocarctos hookeri. Yellow-eyed penguins do not have any anti-predator mechanisms against terrestrial mammals because they are a relatively new predator, although their conservation status does help serve as an anti-predator mechanism. (Lalas, et al., 2007; McKay, et al., 1999)falls under the crucial category because they are a threatened species. The key predators that threaten are terrestrial mammals that were introduced by
Plasmodium relictum is a parasite that has been found on wild yellow-eyed penguins. There is not much information on the ecosystem role of . Their foraging range is off the continental shelf and they are predators to various fish species. When on land, their only major predators are mammals introduced by humans. They are also prey to New Zealand sea lions, but they are not a major component of the sea lion's diet. (Jones and Shellam, 1999; Lalas, et al., 2007; McKay, et al., 1999)
- Plasmodium relictum (class Aconoidasida; phylum Apicomplexa)
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Yellow-eyed penguins provide a positive impact on the New Zealand economy because of the tourism industry built upon viewing them. However, the birds are not as cooperative as some other animals involved in ecotourism because they are shy and easily scared by humans. When humans view yellow-eyed penguins, they are required to hide and remain quiet, so the birds are not startled. This ecotourism allows for increased awareness and knowledge about the penguins and helps in their conservation. Ecotourism has a positive effect on the local economy and it helps with the conservation effort. Conservation efforts are partially funded by the fees charged for such tours. (McClung, et al., 2004; "Conservation Project", 2012; Ratz and Thompson, 1999)
- Positive Impacts
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
There are no known adverse affects ofon humans.
William Wardell (author), The College of New Jersey, Matthew Wund (editor), The College of New Jersey, Leila Siciliano Martina (editor), Animal Diversity Web Staff.
Living in Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, New Guinea and associated islands.
uses sound to communicate
- bilateral symmetry
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
an animal that mainly eats meat
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
the nearshore aquatic habitats near a coast, or shoreline.
humans benefit economically by promoting tourism that focuses on the appreciation of natural areas or animals. Ecotourism implies that there are existing programs that profit from the appreciation of natural areas or animals.
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
- female parental care
parental care is carried out by females
forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.
- island endemic
animals that live only on an island or set of islands.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
- male parental care
parental care is carried out by males
Having one mate at a time.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
- native range
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.
an animal that mainly eats fish
remains in the same area
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
uses touch to communicate
that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).
Living on the ground.
The term is used in the 1994 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals to refer collectively to species categorized as Endangered (E), Vulnerable (V), Rare (R), Indeterminate (I), or Insufficiently Known (K) and in the 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals to refer collectively to species categorized as Critically Endangered (CR), Endangered (EN), or Vulnerable (VU).
uses sight to communicate
Penguin Place. 2012. "Conservation Project" (On-line). Penguin Place Conservation Reserve. Accessed November 13, 2012 at http://www.penguinplace.co.nz/.
2012. "Penguins: Basic Facts" (On-line). Yellow-Eyed Penguin Trust. Accessed October 17, 2012 at http://yellow-eyedpenguin.org.nz/.
Ainley, D., D. DeMaster. 1980. Survival and mortality in a population Adelie Penguins. Ecology, 61: 522-530. Accessed October 24, 2012 at http://swfsc.noaa.gov/publications/cr/1980/8004.pdf.
Croxall, J., L. Davis. 1999. Penguins: Paradoxes and Patterns. Marine Ornithology, 27: 1-12. Accessed October 15, 2012 at http://www.marineornithology.org/PDF/27/27_1.pdf.
Darby, J., S. Dawson. 2000. Bycatch of yellow-eyed penguins (Biological Conservation, 93: 327-332. Accessed October 17, 2012 at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320799001482.) in gillnets in New Zealand waters 1979-1997.
Houston, D., B. McKinlay. 2012. "http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/106003859/0." (On-line). IUCN Red List. Accessed November 14, 2012 at
Jones, H., G. Shellam. 1999. Blood parasites in penguins, and their potential impact on conservation. Marine Ornithology, 27: 181-184. Accessed October 14, 2012 at http://marineornithology.org/PDF/27/27_23.pdf.
Lalas, C., H. Ratz, K. McEwan, S. McConkey. 2007. Predation by New Zealand sea lions (Phocarctos hookeri) as a threat to the viability of yellow-eyed penguins ( ) at Otago Peninsula, New Zealand. Biological Conservation, 135: 235-246. Accessed October 17, 2012 at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320706004496.
Massaro, M., L. Davis, J. Darby. 2003. Carotenoid-derived ornaments reflect parental quality in male and female yellow-eyed penguins (Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 55: 169-175. Accessed October 14, 2012 at http://georgealozano.com/papers/carotenoids/Massaro2003.pdf.).
McClung, M., P. Seddon, M. Massaro, A. Setiawan. 2004. Nature-based tourism impacts on yellow-eyed penguins Biological Conservation, 119: 279-285. Accessed October 14, 2012 at http://comp.uark.edu/~mrm06/YEP.pdf.: does unregulated visitor access affect fledging weight and juvenile survival?.
McKay, R., C. Lalas, D. McKay, S. McConkey. 1999. Nest-Site Selection by Yellow-Eyed Penguins Marine Ornithology, 27: 29-35. Accessed October 14, 2012 at http://www.marineornithology.org/PDF/27/27_4.pdf.on grazed farmland.
Moore, P. 1999. Foraging Range of the Yellow-Eyed Penguin Marine Ornithology, 27: 49-58. Accessed October 14, 2012 at http://www.marineornithology.org/PDF/27/27_7.pdf..
Moore, P., M. Wakelin. 1997. Diet of the Yellow-Eyed Penguin Marine Ornithology, 25: 17-29. Accessed October 14, 2012 at http://marineornithology.org/PDF/25/25_5.pdf., South Island, New Zealand, 1991-1993.
Moore, P. 2001. Historical records of yellow-eyed penguin (Notornis, 48: 145-156. Accessed October 17, 2012 at http://notornis.osnz.org.nz/system/files/Notornis_48_3_145.pdf.) in Southern New Zealand.
Ratz, H., C. Thompson. 1999. Who is Watching Whom? Checks for Impacts of Tourists on Yellow-Eyed Penguins Marine Ornithology, 27: 205-210. Accessed October 14, 2012 at http://marineornithology.org/PDF/27/27_28.pdf..
Reid, W. 1988. Age correlations within pair of breeding birds. The Auk, 105: 278-285. Accessed October 15, 2012 at http://elibrary.unm.edu/sora/Auk/v105n02/p0278-p0285.pdf.
Seddon, P., L. Davis. 1989. Nest-site selection by Yellow-eyed Penguins. The Condor, 91: 653-659. Accessed November 08, 2012 at http://elibrary.unm.edu/sora/Condor/files/issues/v091n03/p0653-p0659.pdf.
Setiawan, A., L. Davis, J. Darby, P. Lohman, G. Young, M. Blackberry, B. Cannell, G. Martin. 2006. Hormonal correlates of parental behavior in yellow-eyed penguins. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, 145: 357-362. Accessed October 14, 2012 at http://fish.washington.edu/research/younglab/graham_young/setiawan_et_al_2006.pdf.
Setiawan, A., L. Davis, J. Darby, P. Lokman, G. Young, M. Blackberry, B. Cannell, G. Martin. 2007. Effects of artificial social stimuli on the reproductive schedule and hormone levels of yellow-eyed penguins (Hormones and Behavior, 51: 46-53. Accessed October 14, 2012 at http://fish.washington.edu/research/younglab/graham_young/setiawan_et_al_2007.pdf.).
Sullivan, D., M. Sullivan. 1975. Transport Defects as the Physiological Basis for Eye Color Mutants of Drosophila melanogaster. Biochemical Genetics, 13: 603-613. Accessed November 17, 2012 at http://www.springerlink.com/content/l321q43r98426150/.
Van Heezik, Y., P. Seddon. 1989. Stomach Sampling in the Yellow-Eyed Penguin: Erosion of Otoliths and Squid Beaks. Journal of Field Ornithology, 60: 451-458. Accessed October 14, 2012 at https://elibrary.unm.edu/sora/JFO/v060n04/p0451-p0458.pdf.