|Did You Know?
The Fiordland penguin belongs to a group of penguins commonly known as crested penguins. All species of crested penguins have heads adorned with yellow feathers The Fiordland penguin is considered the most timid and the rarest of the crested penguins.
Common: Fiordland Crested Penguin, Thick-billed Penguin
Scientific: Eudyptes pachyrhynchus. Eudyptes meaning good diver and pachyrhynchus meaning thick billed.
Cephalopods, crustaceans, octopus, krill.
Tends to be less social than other penguins. Migratory and dispersive, birds are absent from breeding colonies March-June. Nests are semi-colonial or solitary, built underneath the roots of trees, beneath boulders, or in small cavities or caves.
Two egg clutch laid July-August. The second egg is larger than the first, but eggs are the least dimorphic of Eudyptes penguins. Incubation shared, lasting 30-36 days. Both eggs are retained through incubation, but usually one chick will die within 7 days. The chick is fed daily by the female, the male remains at the nest to brood the chick. Creches form at 2-3 weeks of age, fledging occurs near 75 days. No pairs will fledge two chicks.
Natural: Fur Seals, sharks.
Introduced: Rats, Weka, stoats, ferrets, cats and dogs.
Conservation Challenges and Solutions:
Population numbers are not well known, as breeding sites are difficult to access, and dense vegetation prevents accurate nest counts. Global climate change. Over fishing and fisheries interactions. Introduce species predation. Human disturbance and tourism.
Population/IUCN- The World Conservation Union designation:
Vulnerable population estimated at 5000-6000 birds.
North American Zoos & Aquariums: