Eudyptula minor 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Sphenisciformes Spheniscidae

Scientific Name: Eudyptula minor
Species Authority: (Forster, 1781)
Common Name(s):
English Little Penguin, Fairy Penguin, Blue Penguin
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.
This species has a very 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). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to 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 Little Penguin has a narrow distribution from the Chatham Islands (New Zealand) in the east to the south-western tip of Australia1.
Countries occurrence:
Australia; New Zealand
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 800
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): 50
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The global population size has not been quantified, but the population in Australia is estimated as under 1,000,000 individuals (del Hoyo et al. 1992).

Trend Justification:  The population is declining as a result of habitat destruction and predation by introduced predators. Oil pollution, and rubbish dumped at sea. Birds sometimes drown as a result of being caught in fishing nets or crayfish creels and occasionally purposefully caught as bait for crayfish (del Hoyo et al. 1994).
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: Unknown 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 species occurs in temperate marine waters, mainly feeding on pelagic shoaling fish, cephalopods and occasionally crustaceans. It captures prey by pursuit diving, frequently swimming round a shoal of fishg in concentric circles before plunging into its midst. It is known to dive up to 69 m and usually feeds along. Breeding has been recorded in all month with the exact timing depending on locality and year. It forms colonies, nesting in burrows on sandy or rocky islands, often at the base of cliffs or in sand dunes (del Hoyo et al. 1992).
Systems: Terrestrial; Marine
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Unknown
Generation Length (years): 7.6
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Eudyptula minor. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22697805A40187122. . Downloaded on 26 November 2015.
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