Southern Rockhopper Penguin (Eudyptes Chrysocome) By michael parsky

Beginning in 2008, the Southern Rockhopper Penguin has been listed as "Vulnerable" on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species due to the growing presence of commercial fisheries and a myriad of environmental issues.

Timeline: 1988 - Not Recognized 1994 -Not Recognized 2000- Not Recognized 2004- Not Recognized 2008- Vulnerable 2010- Vulnerable 2012- Vulnerable

Other Timeline: 1871- 25000 eggs taken to use for Penguin oil, 1984- 1995 Southern Rockhopper Penguin Population down (2.5 Million breeding pairs to only about 300000.) 1985-1986 large numbers of penguins starved to death

What does the Southern Rockhopper Penguin look like?

Average Height: 55 cm, Average weight: 3.5 kg, Short red-brownish bill, white underparts, grey upperparts, big yellow eyebrows that extend, differ from Northern Rockhopper Penguin counterparts with pale mottled grey chin.

Where do they live?

The Falkland Islands are a very popular habitat for Southern Rockhopper Penguin's to breed (located in South Atlantic Ocean, Western Hemisphere)


And Argentina.

What Threatens the Southern Rockhopper Penguin?

Squid, which accommodates around 29% of the Penguin's diet, along with other small sea organisms that are consumed by the Southern Rockhopper have been captured by commercial fishery companies for human consumption. The removal of significant portions of the Rockhopper diets has led to widespread starvation and subsequent population decline.

Climate change is another concern for Rockhopper Penguin's. Rising water temperatures in the 1960's saw a decrease in penguin population. Additionally, El Niño seasons, winter seasons that have abnormally high temperatures, have also proven to be a great threat to the Southern Rockhopper. Other organisms, especially those that are a part of the Rockhopper's diet, who suffer from these environmental issues indirectly hurt the Rockhopper Penguin's as their reductions in populations cause a food shortage to supplement the Penguin's large colonies.

Other threats to the population include: predation (seal populations), oil pollution, and humans taking eggs for food or use for Penguin oil.

Current Population: Approximately 2,500,000 mature pairs

Status of Population Trend: Decreasing

Over the last 30 years, the population of Southern Rockhopper Penguin's has decreased 34%, especially the large concentration in the Falkland Islands(1.2 million pairs). Multiple places have significant recorded declines in population. A notable site is Campbell Island, which has lost 1.5 million pairs of Southern Rockhopper Penguin's, which accounts for around 94% of their original population. These declines seem gradual as the data collected from Campbell Island was from 1942-1986 and the Falkland Islands from 1932-2000.

Ecology, habitats, and movement patterns: The Southern Rockhopper Penguin's movement pattern is classified as full migration. The Penguin's spend three to five months at sea (leave around late summer), as they look for food. They travel far from their breeding colonies, some hundreds of kilometers where they engage in "dives" as they forage for food (crustaceans, other small organisms, etc.) After this period they return to their breeding colonies. These habitats are best characterized as rocky shorelines or burrows in high grassy areas called tussocks, intended for breeding.

The Southern Rockhopper Penguin is an active contributor to their ecosystems and overall biodiversity. They are primary consumers, as they eat smaller organisms and they themselves are consumed by larger organisms. This process helps stabilize populations in their ecosystems and promotes a healthier biodiversity. In addition, they use the high grassy land areas where they make their nests in order to lay their eggs and breed. In conclusion, they are solid members that do make a difference in their ecosystems but are not focal points.

In response to the declining population trend conservation efforts have been made in an attempt to change the direction of the species.

Regular monitoring of habitats such as the Falkland Island's and Staten Island, Argentina, along with initiatives such as an International Species Action Plan and Regional Action Plans provided by BirdLife International to conduct research and analysis of the Southern Rockhopper Penguin species. Being considered an "endangered species" has also allowed the birds to fall under the protection of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, which provides for concerted conservation efforts for all species that meet the requirements.

Works Cited

Bingham, Mike. "Rockhopper Penguin." Penguins: Rockhopper Penguins - Eudyptes Chrysocome. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Jan. 2017. <>.

"Eudyptes Chrysocome ." Eudyptes Chrysocome (Rockhopper Penguin, Southern Rockhopper Penguin). The IUCN Red List of Endangered Species, n.d. Web. 08 Jan. 2017. <>.

"Rockhopper Penguin." Penguin Facts and Information. Penguins-World, n.d. Web. 08 Jan. 2017. <>.

"Rockhopper Penguin." Rockhopper Penguins. Photovolcanica, n.d. Web. 08 Jan. 2017. <>.

Rockhopper Penguins. Center for Biological Diversity, n.d. Web. 08 Jan. 2017. <>.

"Southern Rockhopper Penguins." FI Conservation - Rockhopper. Falklands Conservation, n.d. Web. 08 Jan. 2017. <>.


Created with images by Liza - "penguin rockhopper penguin southern rockhopper penguin" • nyaa_birdies_perch - "southern rockhopper penguin" • flowcomm - "Rockhopper penguin at Two Oceans Aquarium" • thejourney1972 (South America addicted) - "Presenting the Falkland Islands: a british perspective" • thejourney1972 (South America addicted) - "Mapa III Región de Chile" • SEDACMaps - "Argentian: Population Density, 2000" • Ingrid Taylar - "Chum Run - Reality" • *Debs* - "Father & Son" • flowcomm - "Rockhopper penguin" • Marie Hale - "Rockhopper penguin" • nomis-simon - "SJM_1284.jpg" • NOAA Photo Library - "rikr0090"

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