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Photo of two Snares Penguins rubbing their bills together.

Snares Penguin

Eudyptes robustus
The Snares Penguin is a member of the crested group of penguins. The Snares Penguin is referred to by the indigenous Maori people of New Zealand as pokotiwha.
Common Name: Snares Penguin; Pokotiwha
Scientific name: Eudyptes robustus
Population: 32,000 breeding pairs
Weight and height: 2.8 kg – 3.4 kg and 51 cm – 61 cm
Lifespan: 12-20 years
Conservation status: Vulnerable
Population Trend: Stable
Geographic Breeding Range: New Zealand (Snares Islands)
Prey/diet: Crustaceans, fish, and cephalopods
Distinguishing physical characteristics: Bright yellow crests begin near the nostril and pass above the eye, with plumes extending from the head. Bill is large and heavy and orange-brown in color with a pink gape. Feet and legs are pink, eyes are pinkish red to reddish brown. Very similar to the Fiordland Penguin, best differentiated by the presence of the pink gape in Snares Penguins as well as a more bulbous upper mandible in the Snares Penguin.

Fun Fact:

The Snares Penguin is an indigenous toaonga species, which is of significant cultural and spiritual value to New Zealand Maori, as established in the Ngai Tahu Claims Settlement Act of 1998.

Current Conservation Status

Population trends:

Stable arrow

Snares Penguin Conservation Status:


Range Map: