Eudyptes sclateri 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Sphenisciformes Spheniscidae

Scientific Name: Eudyptes sclateri Buller, 1888
Common Name(s):
English Erect-crested Penguin, Big-crested Penguin
Spanish Pingüino de las Antípodas, Pingüino de Sclater
Taxonomic Source(s): Turbott, E.G. 1990. Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Wellington.
Identification information: 60 cm. Medium-sized, yellow-crested, black-and-white penguin. Bluish-black to jet black upperparts. White underparts. Broad, bright yellow eyebrow-stripe extends over eye to form short, erect crest. Similar spp. Differs from all other crested penguin species in having an erect crest.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A2b; B2ab(ii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Amey, J., Booth, A., Ellenberg, U., Hiscock, J., Houston, D., Taylor, G.A., Webster, T. & van Heezik, Y.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Calvert, R., Ellenberg, U., Mahood, S., Mattern, T., McClellan, R., Moreno, R., Seddon, P., Taylor, J., Webster, T., van Heezik, Y.
This species is classified as Endangered because its population is estimated to have declined very rapidly over the last three generations, and it is almost certainly still declining. Furthermore, it has a very small breeding range, which may now be restricted to just two locations.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Eudyptes sclateri breeds on the Antipodes and Bounty Islands (20 km2 and 1 km2 respectively), New Zealand. The most recent population survey conducted in 2011 found 34,226 nests on the Antipodes (Hisock and Chilvers 2014); on the Bounty Islands there were an estimated 26,000 nests in the same year (Miskelly 2013). In the mid-20th century the species was recorded breeding on the New Zealand mainland, although these were individual pairs that were not part of a larger population (Richdale 1950). Outside the breeding period birds have been reported on other sub-Antarctic islands, such as Campbell Island (Miskelly et al. 2015) and the Snares Islands (Morrison and Sagar 2014), and it is a frequent visitor to the New Zealand mainland and the Chatham Islands (Miskelly 2013). Outside New Zealand territory, the species has been observed along the southern coasts of Australia, and the Kerguelen and the Falkland Islands (Miskelly 2013).

Countries occurrence:
New Zealand
Antarctica; Argentina; Australia; Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:21Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:1300
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):NoExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Number of Locations:2Continuing decline in number of locations:No
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):75
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


Population trends indicate a severe decline between the mid-1970s and mid-1990s (Davis 2013). On the Bounty Islands, estimated numbers of were 115,000 pairs (Robertson and van Tets 1982) in 1978, declining to 28,000 pairs by 1997 (Taylor 2000), with 26,000 breeding pairs recorded in 2011 (Miskelly 2013). On the Antipodes Islands an estimated 115,000 breeding pairs were recorded in 1978 (Taylor 2000), which has since declined to 52,000 pairs by 1995, and to 34,226 pairs by 2011 (Hiscock and Chilvers 2014). Overall it appears that the population decline apparent until the 1990s has since slowed somewhat, which corresponds to the trend observed in the sympatrically breeding Southern Rockhopper Penguins (Morrison et al. 2015). Based on 2011 estimates of breeding pairs and assuming that only 80% of the mature individuals engage in breeding each year, there are c.150,000 mature individuals.

Trend Justification:  The Bounty Islands population declined 76% during 1978-1998, but census methods were variable. The Antipodes population declined by c.50% during 1978-1995, and there have been further decreases since (G. A. Taylor in litt. 1999, Taylor 2000, D. Houston in litt. 2008). Based on this information, a very rapid decline is estimated to have occurred over the last three generations. However, recent surveys indicate that the rate of decline may be slower than this (J. Hiscock in litt. 2012).

Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:150000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

It nests in large, dense, conspicuous colonies, numbering thousands of pairs, on rocky terrain, often without substantial soil or vegetation, from the spray zone to 75 m elevation (Davis 2013; Hiscock and Chilvers 2014). Like all Eudyptids, Erect-crested Penguins are obligate brood reducers and rear only one chick. The egg-size dimorphism is the most extreme for any bird with B-eggs being 85% heavier in mass than A-eggs (Davis 2013). Diet composition has not been studied but it assumed to consist of krill, squid, and fish (Davis 2013). No published information on foraging ecology.

Systems:Terrestrial; Marine
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):11.5
Movement patterns:Full Migrant
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): With a severe lack of data on the species it is difficult to assess what causes population declines in the species (Davis 2013). The absence of introduced terrestrial predators disrupting penguin populations on the mainland points towards sea-based issues, which most likely consist of changes in marine productivity due to ocean warming and, potentially, fisheries interactions (Trathan et al. 2015).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Conservation Actions Underway
Both islands are Nature Reserves and part of a World Heritage Site designated in 1998. Opportunistic monitoring of population size takes place.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey a sample of Antipodes Island colonies every five years, and re-photograph photo-points from the 1978 and 1995 expeditions. Survey Proclamation Island (Bounty Islands) every five years (Hiscock and Chilvers 2014). Compare aerial and ground surveys of the Bounty Islands to ascertain the viability of using the former method for monitoring colonies (Taylor 2000). Conduct detailed studies to determine foraging ranges, commercial fisheries interactions, and oceanographic or climatic changes (Davis 2013).

Amended [top]

Amended reason: Significant edits to Threats and Habitat and ecology fields, correcting previous error where some text had been wrongly transposed between these fields. Minor additional corrections to language of other text fields.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2017. Eudyptes sclateri (amended version of 2016 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22697789A119114918. . Downloaded on 16 July 2018.
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