2 Types of Penguins in South Australia! (2024)

What are the different kinds of penguins in South Australia?

Types of penguins in South Australia

It’s easy to see why people are fascinated with penguins. Besides their adorable looks, these birds are unlike any other in the world!

They’re flightless birds that love to swim, they stand upright instead of hunched over, and almost all of them live in the southern hemisphere.

Keep reading to learn about EVERY type of penguin that lives on the planet, including photos and range maps!

THE 2 PENGUIN species in South Australia:

#1. Little Penguin

  • Eudyptula minor

Also known as Little Blue Penguins.

Types of penguins in South Australia

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 30-33 cm (12-13 in) tall and weigh about 1.5kg (3.3 lb).
  • The head and back are blue, and the underside is white from chin to belly.
  • Their feet are pink with black soles and webbing.

Little Penguins are the only nocturnal penguin in South Australia!

They prefer to complete all their activities at night, including hunting, moving, and socializing. Then, during the day, they rest in groups to protect themselves from predators.

Little Penguins live on the southern coast of Australia and throughout coastal New Zealand.

Little Penguins dive as deep as 80 m (265 ft) to find their preferred food, which includes krill, fish, and squid. However, they can only stay underwater for two minutes, which is short compared to other types of penguins. They also swim and walk along the shore in groups, an effective strategy to avoid predators.

Amazingly, Little Penguins have up to nine sounds they use to communicate with their colony. The sounds include sharp barking that announces it’s time to hunt and loud yelps, which signal trouble. Listen to a few sounds below!

YouTube video

Although Little Penguins do face an increased threat from introduced predators, they aren’t currently in danger of decline. They’re a species of Least Concern, meaning their populations are stable and healthy.

  • Estimated Global Population: 1.2 million individual penguins

#2. Fiordland Penguin

  • Eudyptes pachyrhynchus

Also known as the Fiordland Crested Penguin or the New Zealand Crested Penguin.

Types of penguins in South Australia

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults reach 60 cm (24 in) tall and weigh 2-5.95 kg (4.4-13.1 lb).
  • Their coloring is bluish-grey with a darker head and white abdomen.
  • They have broad yellow “eyebrows” that extend over the eyes and down the neck.

The population of Fiordland Penguins is rapidly declining.

The main detriment to their numbers is introduced species in New Zealand like cats, dogs, and rats, which prey on adults and chicks. Unfortunately, human disturbance, habitat destruction, and pollution also play a role. Due to their small range and population, they are vulnerable to extinction, and their status on the IUCN Red List is Near Threatened.

Fiordland Penguins are found along the southwestern coast of New Zealand.

In addition to these threats, the reproductive habits of Fiordland Penguins in South Australia don’t help its declining numbers. Although they build nests in protected and covered areas, their eggs and chicks are still very vulnerable to predators. Two eggs are laid, one bigger and one smaller. The smaller egg usually doesn’t hatch successfully.

And even if it does hatch, the mortality of that chick is much higher. The smaller chick usually dies because it can’t compete for food with its larger, healthier sibling.

  • Estimated Global Population: Less than 2,000 individuals

Do you want to know more about penguins in South Australia?

Which type of penguin in South Australia is your favorite?

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