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Macaroni Penguin Eudyptes chrysolophus

Justification
This species qualifies as Vulnerable because the global population appears to have declined rapidly over the last three generations (36 years). The primary drivers of declines are uncertain but could include climatic variation and competition for food from commercial fisheries.

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: #http://www.museum.lsu.edu/~Remsen/SACCBaseline.html#.
Turbott, E. G. 1990. Checklist of the birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Wellington.

Identification
71 cm. Large, yellow-crested, black-and-white penguin. Black upperparts. White underparts. Dark grey to black head and cheeks. Long yellow, orange and black plumes project from forehead patch back along crown and droop behind eye. Similar spp. E. chrysolophus and Royal Penguin E. schlegeli are the only crested penguins with crests that meet on the forehead. E. schlegeli has pure white to pale grey cheeks, but light-faced E. chrysolophus are also reported at some sites (although it is not known whether these are local mutations or hybrids).

Distribution and population
Eudyptes chrysolophus breeds in at least 258 colonies at c.55 breeding sites (Crossin et al. 2013), including southern Chile, the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), South Georgia (Georgia del Sur) and the South Sandwich Islands (Islas Sandwich del Sur), the South Orkney and South Shetland Islands, Bouvet Island (to Norway), Prince Edward and Marion Islands (South Africa), Crozet Islands, Kerguelen Islands (French Southern Territories), Heard and McDonald Islands (to Australia) and very locally on the Antarctic Peninsula. The global population is estimated at 6.3 million breeding pairs, with key populations on Isles Crozet (2,200,000 pairs, including 1 million on Ilots des Pingouins), Kerguelen (1.8 million pairs), Heard Island (1 million pairs), South Georgia (1 million pairs) and Marion Island (290,000 pairs).

Previously, the global population had been estimated at c.9 million pairs (Woehler 1993, Ellis et al. 1998). The South Georgia and Bouvet populations probably increased substantially in the 1960s and early 1970s, but have subsequently decreased. At South Georgia, c.5 million pairs were estimated in the 1980s, falling to c.2.7 million pairs in the mid 1990s and to <1 million pairs in 2002 (Crossin et al. 2013). Volcanic activity eliminated a colony of c.1 million pairs on McDonald Island, although satellite images show unidentified penguins that may be recolonising individuals of this species (Crossin et al. 2013). Surveys on Heard Island (c.1 million pairs) suggest a decrease owing to losses in some smaller colonies. The population at Marion has decreased by over 30% from 434,000 pairs in 1994-1995 to 290,000 pairs in 2008-2009 (Crawford et al. 2009), and 267,000 pairs in 2012-2013 (Dyer and Crawford in press). However, populations on Kerguelen increased by c.1% per annum between 1962 and 1985, and subsequent data from 1998 indicated that colonies were stable or increasing (H. Weimerskirch per T. Micol in litt. 1999). Populations in South America may be stable but data are few.

Satellite tracking of individuals during winter revealed that individuals from Kerguelen spent most of their time in a previously unrecognised foraging area, i.e. a narrow latitudinal band (47-49 degrees S) within the central Indian Ocean (70-110 degrees E), corresponding oceanographically to the Polar Frontal Zone (Bost et al. 2009).


Population justification
The global population is estimated at 6.3 million breeding pairs in at least 258 colonies at c.55 breeding sites (Crossin et al. 2013), with key populations on Isles Crozet (2,200,000 pairs, including 1 million on Ilots des Pingouins), Kerguelen (1.8 million pairs), Heard Island (1 million pairs), South Georgia (1 million pairs) and Marion Island (290,000 pairs).

Trend justification
The current global population estimate of 6.3 million breeding pairs (Crossin et al. 2013) represents a 30% reduction on the previous estimate of 9 million pairs (Woehler 1993, Ellis et al. 1998). At South Georgia, c.5 million pairs were estimated in the 1980s, falling to c.2.7 million pairs in the mid 1990s and to <1 million pairs in 2002 (Crossin et al. 2013). Volcanic activity eliminated a colony of c.1 million pairs on McDonald Island, though satellite images show unidentified penguins that may be recolonising Macaronis (Crossin et al. 2013). Surveys on Heard Island (c.1 million pairs) suggest a decrease owing to losses in some smaller colonies. The population at Marion has decreased by over 30% from 434,000 pairs in 1994-1995 to 290,000 pairs in 2008-2009 (Crawford et al. 2009), and 267,000 pairs in 2012-2013 (Dyer and Crawford in press). A rapid ongoing decline is estimated overall.

Ecology
It nests on level to steep ground, often walking hundreds of metres across steep screes to nest-sites. Breeding areas usually have little or no vegetation due to erosion by birds. It feeds mainly on small krill (Marchant and Higgins 1990), although individuals from the Kerguelen Islands foraging in the Indian Ocean during winter do not feed on krill, taking other crustaceans instead (Bost et al. 2009).

Threats
Known threats at its main breeding grounds are those common to all Southern Ocean species, such as the existing and potential impact of commercial fishing, and ocean warming (Ellis et al. 1998), although oil pollution is no longer considered a likely threat (I. C. T. Nisbet in litt. 2010). The numbers breeding in colonies on Marion Island have shown declines following disease outbreaks (Cooper et al. 2009). Invasive mammals including cats, mice and rabbits are present on a number of sub-Antarctic islands but their impact on the species is not known (Crossin et al. 2013).


Conservation Actions Underway
Long-term monitoring programmes are in place at several breeding colonies (Ellis et al. 1998). Most breeding islands are protected as reserves of various kinds and Heard and McDonald Islands are a World Heritage Site. Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey or resurvey all main breeding populations at major breeding sites, and research its distribution outside breeding season. Maintain monitoring programmes at selected sites. Conduct research into its demography, reproductive performance and foraging ecology (Ellis et al. 1998). Investigate the impacts of disease outbreaks on Marion Island and elsewhere (see Cooper et al. 2009).


References
Bost, C. A.; Thiebot, J. B.; Pinaud, D.; Cherel, Y.; Trathan, P. N. 2009. Where do penguins go during the inter-breeding period? Using geolocation to track the winter dispersion of the Macaroni Penguin. Biology Letters 5: 473-476.

Cooper, J.; Crawford, R. J. M.; De Villiers, M. S.; Dyer, B. M.; Hofmeyr, G. J. G.; Jonker, A. 2009. Disease outbreaks among penguins at sub-Antarctic Marion Island: A conservation concern. Marine Ornithology 37: 193–196.

Crawford, R. J. M.; Whittington, P. A.; Upfold, L.; Ryan, P. G.; Petersen, S. L.; Dyer, B. M.; Cooper, J. 2009. Recent trends in numbers of four species of penguins at the Prince Edward Islands. African Journal of Marine Science 31(3): 419-426.

Cresswell, K. A.; Wiedenmann, J.; Mangel, M. 2008. Can Macaroni Penguins keep up with climate- and fishing-induced changes in krill? Polar Biology 31: 641-649.

Crossin, G. T., Trathan, P. and Crawford, R. J. M. 2013. Macaroni Penguin (Eudyptes chrysolophus) and Royal Penguin (Eudyptes schlegeli). In: P. G. Borboroglu and P. D. Boersma (eds), Penguins: Natural History and Conservation, pp. 185-208. University of Washington Press, Seattle.

Ellis, S.; Croxall, J. P.; Cooper, J. 1998. Penguin conservation assessment and management plan: report from the workshop held 8-9 September 1996, Cape Town, South Africa. IUCN/SSC, Apple Valley, USA.

Marchant, S.; Higgins, P. J. 1990. Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic birds, 1: ratites to ducks. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

Trathan, P. N.; Croxall, J. P.; Murphy, E. J.; Everson, I. 1998. Use of at-sea distribution data to derive potential foraging ranges of macaroni penguins during the breeding season. Marine Ecology Progress Series 169: 263-275.

U.S. Fish and Wildlie Service. 2008. Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding on a Petition To List Four Penguin Species as Threatened or Endangered Under the Endangered Species Act and Proposed Rule To List the Southern Rockhopper Penguin in the Campbell Plateau Portion of Its Range. Federal Register.

Woehler, E. J. 1993. The distribution and abundance of Antarctic and Subantarctic penguins. Scientific Commission on Antarctic Research, Cambridge, U.K.

Woehler, E. J.; Croxall, J. P. 1999. The status and trends of Antarctic and subantarctic seabirds. Marine Ornithology 25: 43-66.

Further web sources of information
Australian Govt - Action Plan for Australian Birds 2000 - Recovery Outline

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
Benstead, P., Calvert, R., Capper, D., Ekstrom, J., McClellan, R., Stattersfield, A., Symes, A. & Taylor, J.

Contributors
Crawford, R., Croxall, J., Micol, T., Nisbet, I. & Weimerskirsch, H.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Eudyptes chrysolophus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/08/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/08/2014.

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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Macaroni penguin (Eudyptes chrysolophus)

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Spheniscidae (Penguins)
Species name author (Brandt, 1837)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 7,400 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species