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Penguins 101: Fun Yellow-Eyed Hoiho Penguin Facts
The yellow-eyed penguin(Megadyptes antipodes) or hoiho is a penguin native to New Zealand because New Zealand has all the cool stuff. The hoiho even appears on the reverse side of the New Zealand five-dollar note. Yeah, way to rub it in New Zealand. Welcome to Animal Facts, today we discuss what may be the most ancient of all living penguins, the accurately named Yellow-eyed penguin. Let’s get started. Wait, before we get started take a moment to subscribe to get more fun fauna facts, and click the bell icon to make sure you don’t miss a single fact. Now we present Yellow Eyed Penguin Facts for Kids and adults too.
10. The yellow-eyed penguin is named because of its yellow iris and distinctive yellow headband. Previously thought closely related to the little blue penguin, molecular research has shown it more closely related to penguins of the genus Eudyptes, the crested penguins, which includes the Fiordland penguin, the Snares Penguin, and the Macaroni Penguin. DNA evidence suggests it split from the ancestors of Eudyptes around 15 million years ago.
9. The Hoiho breeds around the South Island of New Zealand, as well as Stewart Island, Auckland Islands, and Campbell Islands. Colonies on the Otago Peninsula are a popular tourist venue, where visitors may closely observe penguins from hides, trenches, or tunnels.
8. 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 boy/girl ratio of 2:1 around the age of 10–12 years.
7. This penguin usually nests in forest or scrub, among native flax and lupin, on slopes or gullies, or the shore itself, facing the sea. These areas are generally sited in small bays or on headland areas of larger bays.
6. Several mainland habitats have hides and are relatively easily accessible for those wishing to watch the birds come ashore. These include beaches at Oamaru, Moeraki lighthouse, a number of beaches near Dunedin, and The Catlins. In addition, commercial tourist operations on Otago Peninsula also provide hides to view yellow-eyed penguins.
5. Yellow-eyed penguins are not particularly sociable, breeding in spaced-out territories in the forest rather than the close-knit colonies of other species.
4. Yellow Eyed Penguin Pairs are monogamous and stay together for life. The breeding season is particularly long, beginning with courtship in August; two eggs are laid in mid-September to mid-October on a nest constructed from sticks. Both parents help to incubate the eggs, which can take up to two months. For the next six weeks, the adults will take turns staying with the chick while the other forages for food.
3. The yellow-eyed penguin is a carnivorous animal, that like all other penguin species survives on a diet only comprised of marine animals. Krill and small crustaceans make up the bulk of the yellow-eyed penguin’s diet along with larger organisms including squid and various species of fish.
2. This species of penguin is endangered, with an estimated population of 4000. It is considered one of the world’s rarest penguin species. The main threats include habitat degradation and introduced predators.
1. A reserve protecting more than 10% of the mainland population was established at Long Point in the Catlins in November 2007 by the Department of Conservation and the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust. In August 2010, the yellow-eyed penguin was granted protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
Well, there ya have it, 10 Fun facts about an ancient penguin species. Are there any facts we missed? What is your favorite penguin species? Let us know in the comments below? Is there any animal you’d like to see us cover? Give us a shout. Before you go, please hit that like button and subscribe for more fun fauna facts. If you’d like to help us continue bringing more facts, consider becoming a patron on Patreon. And as always, catch ya next time.