Eudyptes sclateri


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Eudyptes sclateri
Species Authority: Buller, 1888
Common Name(s):
English Erect-crested Penguin, Big-crested Penguin

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A2b;B2ab(i,ii,iv,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Booth, A., Hiscock, J., Houston, D. & Taylor, G.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Calvert, R., Mahood, S., McClellan, R. & Taylor, J.
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.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Eudyptes sclateri breeds on the Bounty and Antipodes Islands (1 km2 and 20 km2 respectively), New Zealand. In 1978, the population on the Bounty Islands was estimated at 115,000 pairs, spread over nine tiny islands (Robertson and van Tets 1982). A survey in 1997-1998 estimated a total of 28,000 breeding pairs (Clark et al. 1998, J. Amey per A. M. Booth in litt. 1999). Census methods differed, making comparisons less useful (Taylor 2000); however, the 2011 survey shows a further 8% decline using the same methodology as in 1997-1998 (J. Hiscock in litt. 2012). The population on the Antipodes in 1978 was believed to be of a similar size to the Bounty Islands in the same year. In 1995, ground surveys indicated c.49,000-57,000 pairs (Taylor 2000), representing a decline of c.50% in 20 years. The survey in 2011 shows a further decline, with c.41,000 pairs counted, representing a decline of 23% (J. Hiscock in litt. 2012). The population on Campbell Island numbered 20-30 pairs in 1986-1987, but no breeding was seen. A few hundred birds bred there in the 1940s (Taylor 2000). Winter distribution at sea is largely unknown, the only records being from the Cook Strait and off the east coast of the South Island (Marchant and Higgins 1990).

New Zealand
Antarctica; Argentina; Australia; Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The total population is estimated at 130,000-140,000 mature individuals, based on estimates of 26,000 breeding pairs on the Bounty Islands in 2011 and 41,000 pairs on the Antipodes Islands in 2011 (J. Hiscock in litt. 2012). Based on the assumption that mature individuals account for around 2/3 of the total population, there are estimated to be c.195,000-210,000 individuals.
Population Trend: Decreasing

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 (Marchant and Higgins 1990, Heather and Robertson 1997). It feeds on krill and squid, and occasionally takes small fish (Heather and Robertson 1997).

Systems: Terrestrial; Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The reason for the large population declines is thought to be associated with marine factors affecting survivorship (Ellis et al. 1998, Taylor 2000). There are no mammalian predators on the Bounty or Antipodes Islands, except for mice on the main Antipodes Island.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
Cattle and sheep were eradicated from Campbell Island by 1984 and 1992 respectively (Taylor 2000). Introduced brown rats Rattus norvegicus have been successfully removed from Campbell Island, although their effect on the colony was never studied (Taylor 2000). All islands are nature reserves and part of a World Heritage Site designated in 1998.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Census a sample of Antipodes Island colonies every five years, and re-photograph photopoints from 1978 and 1995 expeditions. Census Proclamation Island (Bounty Islands) every five years. 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 competition, and oceanographic or climatic changes (Ellis et al. 1998).

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Eudyptes sclateri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 04 September 2015.
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