Yellow-eyed penguins are an endangered species that inhabit New Zealand. There is a disappointing speculation that yellow-eyed penguins will not be visible in New Zealand decades from now. The nesting site of Dunedin’s Otago Peninsula is famous and is visited by many tourists every day. It is a lifestyle that is completely different from other penguins because it is characterized by living away from the neighbors in the vegetation without forming a flock.
The center is the South Island area of New Zealand. Among them, I live in Dunedin a lot.
Body length 66-78 cm, weight 5-8 kg. The swan maiden from the head to the neck is yellow and has black horizontal stripes. I hate herds very much, and the fact that I move as I like is a decisive difference from other penguins. They live alone in the vegetation, away from their neighbors, without forming a flock. The beak is pale yellow and the tip is reddish brown. The hind legs are pink. When the white part of the eyes becomes yellow and becomes an adult, a yellow line appears from around the eyes to the back of the head. The chicks are light brown. Very sensitive to sound and light and alert. He is also very cautious of humans and runs away when approaching.
It builds a nest near the sea and is diurnal and goes out of the nest in the morning for activity. It is possible to dive into the sea and dive to a depth of about 20-100m, and eat squid and fish. Sometimes I get caught in a net thrown by a human. The breeding form is oviparous and lays one egg in September or October. After that, the chicks grow and ripen in a few years and act alone. The life is said to be 10-12 years.
As of 2019, only about 1500 birds are alive. Therefore, it is said that it will disappear in a few decades. The cause is predation by natural enemies such as weasels and being hunted by humans by fishing. Yellow-eyed penguins act alone compared to other penguins, so they have no companion to protect them. Therefore, it is very vulnerable to predation and hunting. In particular, bottom trawl fishing has become a serious issue. It is said that there are cases where humans steal the food necessary for penguins, or penguins get caught in the net, resulting in serious injury or death.
Penguin Place is located in Dunedin on a family-owned penguin tour since 1991. We carry out conservation activities at facilities that actively protect and breed penguins. Among them, you can see a lot of cute penguins. The tour lasts from one and a half to two hours, including explanations and tours. No flash photography is possible inside. Yellow-eyed penguins are very alert.