Did You Know?
The little blue penguin is the smallest species of penguin in the world and is found exclusively in Australia and New Zealand. This penguin employs a wide range of songs more extensively then any other penguin species. From an evolutionary standpoint, the little penguin is also considered the most primitive. Far more reminiscent of their flying cousins the Procellariformes, shearwaters, petrels and albatross then the other 17 penguin species.
Little Blue Penguin
Common: Little penguin, Blue penguin, Fairy penguin.
Aboriginal: Martidekker, tomeranaray, gur-roo-mul, choolia, indala, munuwar, kororaa.
Scientific: Eudyptula minor, which means good little diver.
Australia and New Zealand. The inshore habits of this species have caused isolated groups to evolve into 6 recognized subspecies.
Small fish such as pilchards, anchovies and occasionally shrimp and krill.
Often confused as nocturnal due to their strategy of leaving for sea before dawn and returning from the sea after dark to avoid predators.
Nest in burrows and lay 2 eggs, which are incubated for 35 days by both males and females. Chicks are covered in down and fed regurgitated food from the parents until they are 1 month old.
Natural: Gulls, hawks, fur seals, sea lions, sharks and barracuda.
Introduced: Dogs, cats, weasels, stoats, ferrets, foxes and rats.
Conservation Challenges and Solutions:
Control of introduced predators Pollution control, including plastics and oil spills Protection of food stocks from over fishing. Public education. Establishment of reserves to curb human infringement on breeding colonies.
Population/IUCN- The World Conservation Union designation:
Least Concern estimated at 1,000,000 birds in Australia.
North American Zoos & Aquariums:
Captive population in North America = 70