Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Sphenisciformes Spheniscidae

Scientific Name: Aptenodytes patagonicus
Species Authority: Miller, 1778
Common Name(s):
English King Penguin
French Manchot royal
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Calvert, R.
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2009 Least Concern (LC)
2008 Least Concern (LC)
2004 Least Concern (LC)
2000 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
1994 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
1988 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The King Penguin can be found on the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) and South Georgia (Georgias del Sur) off the coast of South America, including the coast of southern Argentina during winter. Colonies are also present on Marion Island and Price Edward Island (South Africa), the Kerguelen Islands and Crozet Island (French Southern Territories), and Macquarie Island (Australia) in the Southern Ocean (del Hoyo et al. 1992).
Countries occurrence:
Argentina; Chile; Falkland Islands (Malvinas); French Southern Territories; Heard Island and McDonald Islands; South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
Antarctica; Australia; Brazil; New Zealand; Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; South Africa; Uruguay
Present - origin uncertain:
Bouvet Island
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 24900
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Continuing decline in number of locations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Upper elevation limit (metres): 100
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Current Population Trend: Increasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This marine species spends much of its time near breeding areas. It feeds mostly upon fish but will also take cephalopods. It captures prey by means of pursuit-diving, swimming at up to 12 km/h normally no deeper than 50 m. It arrives at colonies to breed between September and November, forming colonies on flattish beaches with no snow or ice which normally have easy access to the sea (del Hoyo et al. 1992)
Systems: Terrestrial; Marine
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Unknown
Generation Length (years): 12.7
Movement patterns: Full Migrant
Congregatory: Congregatory (and dispersive)

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Aptenodytes patagonicus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22697748A40170769. . Downloaded on 10 October 2015.
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