Little Penguin Eudyptula minor

Family: Spheniscidae (Penguins)

Authority: (J.R. Forster, 1781)

Red List Category

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Justification of Red List category

The global population size has been quantified and estimated as under 500,000 breeding adults. The population trend is stable overall with localised decreases in population size, usually driven by human disturbance and climatic variability. Increasing ocean temperature and strong winds are linked to negative effects on adult foraging and chick survival. The stable trend should be taken cautiously as 60% of the sites have an “unknown” population trends due to data deficiency. In Australia, there is a decrease in the population size in New South Wales and South Australia while Tasmania is data deficient. Populations are stable in WA and increasing in Victoria. In New Zealand, the situation of the species remains unclear due to inconsistent monitoring efforts over large parts of the country. Little penguins along the South Island’s West Coast, Banks Peninsula seem to be decreasing over the past decades while penguin numbers around Oamaru are stable if not increasing. Although the species has a large estimated extent of occurrence, about 69% of sites have fewer than 100 breeding individuals. For the remaining sites, 28% have between 100 and 5000 individuals and only 3% of sites have a population size above 5,000 individuals. Sites with small populations are more vulnerable with reported local extinctions. Several sites without active conservation measures have experienced a severe decrease in population size, while many former breeding colonies no longer exist. The population range and size do not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable criteria (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 and <10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population size: 469760 mature individuals

Population trend: stable

Extent of occurrence (breeding/resident): 6,870,000 km2

Country endemic: no

Realm - Oceanic
IUCN Ecosystem -- Marine biome

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Eudyptula minor. Downloaded from on 03/12/2023.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 03/12/2023.