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Northern Rockhopper Penguin Eudyptes moseleyi

IUCN Red List Criteria

Critically Endangered  
Endangered A2acde+3cde+4acde 
Vulnerable A2acde+3cde+4acde;B2ab(v) 

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2012 Endangered
2010 Endangered
2008 Endangered
2004 Not Recognised
2000 Not Recognised
1994 Not Recognised
1988 Not Recognised

Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type   Average mass -

Distribution

  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 5,010,000 medium
Area of Occupancy breeding/resident (km2) 250 medium
Number of locations 7 -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals medium Estimated 2007
Population trend Decreasing good -
Number of subpopulations 2-100 - - -
Largest subpopulation 1001-10000 - - -
Generation length (yrs) 11.5 - - -
Population justification: The population is estimated at around 265,000 breeding pairs (Birdlife International 2010, BirdLife International 2012). The majority are found on Gough Island and islands in the Tristan da Cunha group (St Helena to UK), with 83,000 pairs on Middle Island (2009), 64,700 pairs on Gough (2006), 25,000 pairs on Nightingale (2009), 54,000 pairs on Inaccessible (2009) and 6,700 pairs on Tristan (2009) (BirdLife International 2010, BirdLife International 2012). The rest of the population is found in the India Ocean with 24,890 pairs on Amsterdam Island (1993) and 9,023 pairs on St Paul Island (1993) (French Southern Territories). Several populations have experienced major long-term population crashes. Approximately 2 million pairs (98%) were lost from Gough Island between 1955 and 2006 and Tristan da Cunha is thought to have held hundreds of thousands of pairs in the 1870s, which were reduced to around 5,000 pairs by 1955 (Cuthbert et al. 2009). The breeding colonies on Amsterdam and St Paul Islands have reduced in size by 40% (Guinard et al. 1998). Population modelling, based on those breeding sites that have been accurately surveyed, indicates that over the past 37 years (= 3 generations) the number of Northern Rockhopper Penguins has declined by 57% (Birdlife International 2010).
Trend justification: Decreases evident from population estimates in the Tristan da Cunha group and Gough Island indicate a decline of more than 50% (Cuthbert et al. 2009). Several populations have experienced major long-term crashes. Approximately 2 million pairs (98%) were lost from Gough Island between 1955 and 2006 and Tristan da Cunha is thought to have held hundreds of thousands of pairs in the 1870s, which were reduced to around 5,000 pairs by 1955. The breeding colonies on Amsterdam and St Paul islands have reduced in size by 40%. Population modelling, based on those breeding sites that have been accurately surveyed, indicates that over the past 37 years (three generations) the numbers of Northern Rockhopper Penguin have declined by 57%.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
French Southern Territories Native Extant       Yes
St Helena (to UK) Native Extant       Yes

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
French Southern Territories Île aux Cochons site factsheet
French Southern Territories Île de l'Est site factsheet
French Southern Territories Île de la Possession site factsheet
French Southern Territories Îles Nuageuses and Île Clugny site factsheet
St Helena (to UK) Gough Island site factsheet
St Helena (to UK) Inaccessible Island site factsheet
St Helena (to UK) Nightingale Island group site factsheet
St Helena (to UK) Tristan Island site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Marine Intertidal Rocky Shoreline major breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) major breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud major non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) major breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) major non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 60 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Biological resource use Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources / Unintentional effects: (large scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Whole (>90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact: 7
Stresses
Indirect ecosystem effects, Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Other impacts Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Whole (>90%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success
Human intrusions & disturbance Recreational activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Decline Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Species disturbance, Reduced reproductive success
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases / House Mouse (Mus musculus) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases / Unspecified rats (Rattus spp.) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic native species/diseases Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Decline Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Species disturbance, Competition, Species mortality
Natural system modifications Other ecosystem modifications Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Eudyptes moseleyi. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/09/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/09/2014.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Endangered
Family Spheniscidae (Penguins)
Species name author Mathews & Iredale, 1921
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 5,010,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species