Eudyptes schlegeli


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Eudyptes schlegeli
Species Authority: Finsch, 1876
Common Name(s):
English Royal Penguin

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D2 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Copson, G., Gales, R. & Garnett, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Garnett, S., McClellan, R., Stattersfield, A., Taylor, J.
Although this species has a large population which is currently thought to be stable, it is confined to a single location when breeding and as such it is prone to the effects of human activities or stochastic events within a very short time period in an uncertain future, and is thus capable of becoming Critically Endangered or even Extinct in a very short time period. It is consequently classified as Vulnerable.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Eudyptes schlegeli is confined to Macquarie Island and nearby Bishop and Clerk Islands, Australia. However, small numbers of similar-looking birds appear at other sub-Antarctic islands, indicating that it may breed elsewhere. It was heavily exploited in the 19th century, but has recovered and, in 1984-1985, an estimated 850,000 pairs were breeding on Macquarie, with an earlier count of over 1,000 pairs on Bishop and Clerk. The population is believed to be stable.

Argentina; Falkland Islands (Malvinas); South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: In 1984-1985, the breeding population on Macquarie Island was estimated at 850,000 pairs, with an earlier count of over 1,000 pairs on Bishop and Clerk Islands (Garnett and Crowley 2000).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It nests in huge colonies on bare, level, pebbly, rocky or sandy ground. When breeding, it feeds on euphausiids, fish and squid. Its ecology and movements during the winter when away from the island are unknown (Christidis and Boles 1994).

Systems: Terrestrial; Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It has been argued that there is currently no plausible and serious threat to the species (Garnett et al. 2011). On land, rats take some eggs and young. Breeding success can be reduced as a result of disturbance by researchers and tourists. Marine pollution, particularly ingested plastics, kills some birds. Fishing around sub-Antarctic islands may also adversely affect the species. The most likely long-term threat is the effect of climate change on sea-surface temperature and food supply. Disease outbreaks represent another potential threat to the species (R. Gales in litt. 2012).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
Studies of foraging ecology and breeding biology have been completed. Monitoring of breeding population size and success is ongoing. Feral cats have now been eliminated from Macquarie Island. A rodent eradication programme was underway, but not completed in January 2012 (R. Gales in litt. 2012). Tourists on breeding islands are managed to prevent disturbance.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out surveys to obtain an up-to-date population estimate. Determine trends in numbers. Monitor rates and effects of marine debris ingestion. Monitor the effects of fishing. Establish demographic parameters, particularly survival of different age classes. Study the potential impacts of climate change. Control rat populations.

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Eudyptes schlegeli. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 03 September 2015.
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