Photographer: Thomas Mattern
Snares Penguin Range Map (Snares Islands, New Zealand)
| Latin Name
| Conservation Status
||Snares Islands, New Zealand
||Black & White
||55 - 70 cm (21.5 - 27.5 inches)
||3 - 4 Kgs (6.5 - 8.8 lbs)
| Life Expectancy
||15 - 20 Yrs
Snares Penguins are medium sized penguins that reach between 55 and 70 cms (21.5 - 27.5 inches) in height and they weigh between 3 and 4 kgs (6.5 - 8.8 lbs).
They are black in colour on their back and white on their front. They have a yellow stripe that runs from the base of their beak, over their eye and ends in a bushy crest at the back of their head. Their beak is large, reddish/brown in colour and is underlined with white skin at the base.
Snares Penguins are vocal birds and they can swim at speeds of 24 km/hr (15 mph).
Snares Penguins are found on the sheltered beaches of the Snares Islands, off the southern coast of New Zealand.
Snares Penguins feed on a variety of small fish, krill and squid. They feed in small groups and they make shallow dives to purse and capture their prey.
Snares Penguins usually pair up for life and they breed between September and January. The male arrives at the nesting site first, closely followed by the female one week later. In a sheltered area they will create a nest by scraping a hole in the ground and lining it with grasses, leaves and twigs.
The female will lay two eggs but the first one rarely hatches. Incubation is shared by both parents and after 31 - 37 days the chick hatches. For the first three weeks the chick is closely cared for then they join a creche so both parents can go and feed. The parents return to the chick daily to feed it and by the time it has reached 75 days old, the chick has moulted and is ready to go to sea.
Snares Penguins begin to breed when they reach 6 - 7 years of age.
The main predators of adult Snares Penguins are sea lions, but eggs and chicks are preyed upon by brown skuas and giant petrels.
There are no subspecies of the Snares Penguin.
Snares Penguins are also known as:
Snares Crested Penguin
Snares Islands Penguin
The current population of Snares Penguins is approximately 30,000 pairs.
Snares Islands are a marine sanctuary and landing on the islands is generally prohibited, access is only allowed by a special research permit.
Snares Penguins are members of the crested penguin group which also includes the: