Common Name: Yellow-Eyed Penguin

Scientific Name: Megadyptes antipodes

 

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Sphenisciformes

Family: Spheniscidae

Genus: Megadyptes

Species: M. antipodes

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The yellow-eyed penguin is a penguin native to New Zealand.  Like most other penguins, it is mainly eats fish. This is a mid-sized penguin, measuring 62–79 cm (24–31 in) long. Weights vary through the year being greatest, 5.5 to 8 kg, just before molting. The males are larger than the females.   It has a pale yellow head and paler yellow iris with black feather shafts.

The yellow-eyed penguin may be long lived, with some individuals reaching 20 years of age. Males are generally longer lived than females, leading to a sex ratio of 2:1 around the age of 10–12 years.

The species breeds along the eastern and south-eastern coastlines of the South Island of New Zealand.

On the New Zealand mainland, the species has experienced a significant decline over the past 20 years. While the effect of rising ocean temperatures is still being studied, an infectious outbreak in the mid-2000s played a large role in the drop.