Endangered Penguins - 10 Species, Features and Photos

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Penguins are a family of special seabirds: over the years, they have lost their ability to fly but have developed a great ability to swim. At present, 18 species of penguins are known and all of them inhabit the coasts and oceans of the southern hemisphere. Many of these species are vulnerable to extinction or are even in danger of extinction.

For this reason and to delve into the subject, in this Green Ecologist article we will talk about some endangered penguin species and what can we do to avoid this situation.

Galapagos penguin

The Galapagos penguins, whose scientific name is Spheniscus mendiculus, are an endemic species of the Galapagos Islands. It's one of the smaller penguins that exist. Unfortunately, this endemic species is in danger of extinction mainly due to the deterioration of their habitat, poaching and climate change.

Here you can discover more about the Flora and fauna of the Galapagos Islands.

African penguin

The African penguinSpheniscus demersus), also called Cape or Spectacled Penguin, is the only species of penguins that lives in Africa. According to the Red Lists of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, it is listed as endangered and, if measures are not taken in this regard, it is estimated that by 2026 it could become extinct.

Magellanic Penguin

The Magellanic penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) inhabits the southern coasts and islands of Argentina and Chile and migrates to Uruguay and even Brazil during winter. Now, is he endangered Magellanic penguin? In principle no, but it has been shown that their populations are decreasing due to the hunting of their specimens and the disturbances in their habitat, for that reason they present a certain degree of vulnerability. Fortunately, there are natural reserves, both in Argentina and Chile, destined for their conservation.

Humboldt penguin

Another of the penguins in a state of vulnerability is he Humboldt penguin (Spheniscus humboldti), precisely classified as a species vulnerable to extinction because it is used as a gastronomic product. It is a species that inhabits the coast of Peru and Chile, particularly in the Humboldt current, hence its name.

Macaroni penguin or orange plume penguin

Like the aforementioned species, the macaroni penguinEudyptes chrysolophus) it's found vulnerable to extinction. The main causes are hunting and climate change that causes modifications to their habitat.

This particular species is characterized by having orange feathers on its head and an exclusively insular distribution that includes the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, South Sandwich, South Orkney and South Shetland, Bouvet Islands, Prince Edward Islands, Islands Crozet, Kerguelen Islands, Heard and McDonald Islands, and also in Antarctica.

Antipodean Penguin

The Antipodean penguin o Sclater's penguinEudyptes sclateri) it is another species of the genus Eudyptes but, unlike the previous one, this It is in danger of extinction. Its main threat is climate change. What makes this penguin unique is the presence of two yellow crests over its eyes and also its distribution, since it is only found in the subantarctic archipelagos of New Zealand, however, it has occasionally been seen near the Islands. Falklands.

Northern rock jumping penguin

Continuing with the species of the genus Eudyptes, the northern rock jumping penguinEudyptes moseleyi) also found in Danger of extinction, caused by hunting, climate change and the contamination of their habitats by effluents of industrial and military origin. Its appearance is similar to that of the Antipodes, but it is exclusively distributed in the Tristan Da Cunha Archipelago and the Gough Islands.

Snares Penguin

The Snares penguinEudyptes robustus), which inhabits the Snares Islands of New Zealand, is characterized by having a white crest over its eyes. Currently, this species of penguins is classified as vulnerable to extinction. The causes that contribute to their vulnerability are climate change, pollution and hunting.

Rockhopper penguin

Ending with the genre Eudyptes, we will mention the rockhopper penguin or southern rockhopper (Eudyptes chrysocome), which is the smallest of the crested penguins. As its name suggests, it has a yellow crest that extends behind its eyes. It is classified as vulnerable to extinction and the causes of their vulnerability are similar to those described above. Regarding its distribution, it differs according to the subspecies:

  • E. chrysocome chrysocome: it is found in the south of the coasts and islands of Chile and Argentina
  • E. chrysocome filholi: It is distributed in the Prince Edward Islands, Crozet Islands, Kerguelen Islands, Heard Island, Macquarie Island, Campbell Islands, Antipodes Islands and New Zealand.

Yellow eyed penguin

Finally, we cannot fail to name the yellow eyed penguinMegadyptes antipodes), which stands out from the other species, neither more nor less, by the presence of yellow eyes. Regarding its distribution, it is found in the south-east of New Zealand. Today, it is classified as an endangered species since it is estimated that there are only 2,600 to 3,000 specimens of the species in the wild.

What we can do to avoid the extinction of the penguins

If you have come this far, you will have noticed that the main factors that put the different species of penguins in danger of extinction are climate change, pollution, hunting and poor management of commercial fisheries. So how can we help? Simple! Here we will propose two everyday habits that will help preserve penguins:

  • Reduce the use of plastics, properly manage your waste and use biodegradable products. In this way, you will be reducing waste and chemical products that end up in the oceans and contribute to their pollution.
  • Eat more plant foods than animals. Both meat production and the fishing industry are two activities that strongly contribute to climate change, the main factor that alters penguins' habitat. In addition, by having a plant-based diet, you will cooperate to stop hunting penguins and also to avoid mismanagement of fisheries.

For more ideas to help these and other animals, we advise you to read this other article about Why it is important to protect endangered animals and how to help them.

Since you have now learned all this about endangered penguinsWe invite you to meet more species in this bad situation by reading our article about Animals in danger of extinction, a compilation with a large number of species.

If you want to read more articles similar to Endangered penguinsWe recommend that you enter our category of Endangered Animals.

  • Red Lists of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Website: https://www.iucnredlist.org/
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