Spheniscus humboldti), in the middle, differs from Magellanic
List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2bcde+3bcde+4bcde;
This species has undergone extreme population size fluctuations,
(close to one order of
magnitude) at major colonies in Chile. However, an overall
reduction in the number of
breeding colonies indicates that there is probably an ongoing,
underlying rapid decline in
It consequently qualifies as Vulnerable.
History: 2008 Vulnerable
1994 Lower Risk/near threatened
humboldti. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Version 2010.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>.
Downloaded on 19 September 2010
one broad band across their crests, not two.
It is a seldom guest at winter in Tierra del Fuego, coming down from
the western coast of South America.
Pinguineria Punihuil, Chile.
The Humboldt Penguin, Spheniscus humboldti,
(also termed Peruvian
Penguin, or Patranca) is a South American penguin,
that breeds in coastal Peru and Chile. The penguin is named after
the cold water current it swims in,
which is itself named after Alexander
, an explorer.
Photo: frank wouters
Humboldt Penguins are medium-sized penguins, growing
to 65-70 cm (26-28 in) long and a weight of 3.6-5.9 kg (8-13 lbs).
They have a black head with a white border that runs from behind the
eye, around the black ear-coverts and chin,
and joins at the throat. They have blackish-grey upperparts and whitish
underparts, with a black breast-band that extends
down the flanks to the thigh. They have a fleshy-pink base to the
bill. Juveniles have dark heads and no breast-band.
They have spines on their tongue which they use to hold their prey.
Humboldt Penguins nest on islands and rocky coasts,
burrowing holes in guano and sometimes using scrapes or caves.
In South America the Humboldt Penguin is found only along Pacific
coast, and the range of the Humboldt Penguin overlaps
that of the Magellanic Penguin on the central Chilean coast.
Penguin swimming on the surface of water at Dublin Zoo.
Photo: Alan Daly
The current status of this penguin is vulnerable,
due to a declining population caused in part by over-fishing. Historically
it was the
victim of guano over-exploitation. Penguins are also declining in
numbers due to habitat destruction. The current population is
estimated at between 3,300 and 12,000.
penguin chicks begging for food from adult and
penguins moving through sea lion colony
BBC Natural History Unit