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Chinstrap Penguin Pygoscelis antarcticus
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This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Taxonomic source(s)
Christidis, L.; Boles, W. E. 2008. Systematics and taxonomy of Australian birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #
Turbott, E. G. 1990. Checklist of the birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Wellington.

Taxonomic note
Gender agreement of species name follows David and Gosselin (2002b).

Pygoscelis antarctica BirdLife International (2004), Pygoscelis antarctica Christidis and Boles (1994), Pygoscelis antarctica Turbott (1990), Pygoscelis antarctica Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993)

Distribution and population
This species has a circumpolar distribution, being found in Antarctica, the South Sandwich Islands (Islas Sandwich del Sur), the South Orkneys, South Shetland and South Georgia (Georgia del Sur), Bouvet Island (to Norway) and the Balleny Islands (del Hoyo et al. 1992).

Population justification
The population is estimated to number at least 8 million individuals.

Trend justification
The species expanded its range and its population increased owing to increased numbers of krill (del Hoyo et al. 1992).

This species is solely marine and is mostly found in zones with light ice pack. Its diet is comprised almost exclusively of Antarctic krill, but it will also take fish and other species of crustaceans when possible. Prey capture is apparently by pursuit-diving up to a depth of 70 m, but mostly less than 45 m. It breeds on irregular rocky coasts in ice free areas, forming large colonies of hundreds and thousands of birds and beginning laying in November at the earliest (del Hoyo et al. 1992).

Related state of the world's birds case studies

del Hoyo, J.; Elliot, A.; Sargatal, J. 1992. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 1: Ostrich to Ducks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Hinke, J. T.; Salwicka, K.; Trivelpiece, S. G.; Watters, G. M.; Trivelpiece, W. Z. 2007. Divergent responses of Pygoscelis penguins reveal a common environmental drive. Oecologia 153: 845-855.

Sander, M.; Balbao, T. C.; Polito, M. J.; Costa, E. S.; Carneiro, A. P. B. 2007. Recent decrease in Chinstrap Penguin (Pygoscelis antarctica) populations at two of Admiralty Bay"s islets on King George Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. Polar Biology 30: 659-661.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Calvert, R.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Pygoscelis antarcticus. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016.

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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Chinstrap penguin (Pygoscelis antarcticus) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Spheniscidae (Penguins)
Species name author (Forster, 1781)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Increasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 12,600 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species