Sunday, 13 November 2016

Rare Penguins of New Zealand: Photo Essay.

On the mainland of New Zealand three species of penguin breed: Fiordland crested; Yellow eyed & Little Blue Penguin. Many other species are rare visitors often found on beaches during moult. The first two species are rare species & receive lots of conservation effort from the Department of Conservation in New Zealand.

Fiordland crested Penguin
This is a very shy species,
 which keeps its distance from people.

There were at least three pairs
 along this stretch of coast.

This species nests in late winter. I saw a well grown chick in a hole in the rocks but couldn't get a good photo of it. This colony was nesting along the rocks, but others climb up into the vegetation above the shoreline. Today it is only found in small numbers along south-west & southern coasts of the South Island. It is classified as threatened, although numbers appear to be stable. A welcome addition to my list!

Yellow eyed Penguin

Showing the yellow eye!

This is a large, rare penguin, confined to a few locations on South Island New Zealand. It also occurs further south on sub-antarctic islands. 
It appears to have some form of genetic defect & recent research suggests this species could become extinct in the near future!!! It is presently classified as threatened.

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