Snares Penguin

The Snares Penguin (Eudyptes robustus) is a penguin that can be found in New Zealand. It is also known as the Snares Crested Penguin and the Snares Islands Penguin. It breeds on The Snares, a group of islands off the southern coast of the South Island.

This is a medium-sized, yellow-crested penguin grows to approximately 60cm. It has dark blue-black upperparts and white underparts. It has a bright yellow eyebrow-stripe which extends over the eye to form a drooping, bushy crest. It has bare pink skin at the base of its large red-brown bill.

This penguin nests in small to large colonies (10 – 1200 nests) under forest cover or sometimes in the open. Main colonies are located on North East Island; other colonies are established on Broughton Island as well as the rocky Western Chain. The Snares penguins’ main prey is krill (-60% of diet), and is supplemented by squid (-20%) and small fish (-20%).

The species is currently rated as ‘vulnerable’ by the IUCN as its breeding range is restricted to one small island group. The current population is estimated at around 30,000 breeding pairs.