LC
Gentoo Penguin Pygoscelis papua



Taxonomy

Taxonomic source(s)
Christidis, L. and 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. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #http://www.museum.lsu.edu/~Remsen/SACCBaseline.htm#.
Turbott, E.G. 1990. Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Wellington.

IUCN Red List criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2020 Least Concern
2018 Least Concern
2016 Least Concern
2012 Near Threatened A2be+3be+4be
2010 Near Threatened A2b,c,d; A3b,c,d; A4b,c,d
2008 Near Threatened A2b,c,d; A3b,c,d; A4b,c,d
2004 Near Threatened
2000 Lower Risk/Near Threatened
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency does not normally occur in forest
Land-mass type shelf island
Average mass -
Range

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence (breeding/resident) 16,500,000 km2 medium
Extent of Occurrence (non-breeding) 53,000,000 km2 medium
Severely fragmented? no -
Population
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
Population size 774000 mature individuals medium estimated 2013
Population trend stable poor suspected 1989-2024
Generation length 11.5 years - - -
Percentage of mature individuals in largest subpopulation 100% - - -

Population justification: The global population is estimated at 774,000 mature individuals (Lynch 2013).

Trend justification: Overall, the global population is assumed to be stable. 

On the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), annual monitoring has provided increasing evidence of large fluctuations at the population scale over extended time periods (c 10-12 years; A. Stanworth pers. comm.). Reports of population declines by c.45% from 1932-33 to 1995-96 (Bingham 1998), following periods of apparent stability (Trathan et al. 1996, Bingham 2002, Clausen & Huin 2003, Crawford et al. 2009, Forcada & Trathan 2009), are within the scale of these fluctuations (A. Stanworth pers. comm.). Population trends were positive over ~15 years until recently, but populations took a downturn with a 35% drop in the number of breeding pairs between 2015 and 2016 at annually monitored sites, with a small recovery since (Crofts & Stanworth 2019). Prior to the decline in 2015, the number of breeding pairs was higher than that observed in 1932-33 (132,000 compared to 116,000) (Baylis et al. 2013). In the south-western Atlantic Ocean, rates of change simulated from census data from 70 breeding sites showed average rates of increase of 2.4% per year (Lynch et al. 2012).

In the Antarctic Peninsula, populations are increasing (Lynch et al. 2008, Ducklow et al. 2013, Lynch 2013) in tandem with a southward range expansion (Lynch 2013, Crawford et al. 2015). Here, regional populations have grown by more than 1,100% since 1974, e.g. in the Palmer Archipelago (Fountain et al. 2016, Fraser 2016).

The populations at sub-Antarctic islands may have decreased substantially in the past—at Bird Island, South Georgia by c.67% in 25 years (J. P. Croxall in litt. 1999), and at Marion Island (Prince Edward Islands) by 52% (Dyer and Crawford 2015) between 1994 and 2012. However, populations at some locations now appear to be stable or increasing (Forcada and Trathan 2009, Lynch 2013, Dunn et al. 2016), though populations are still declining at Marion Island (Crawford et al. 2014) and may still be declining on Heard Island, on Kerguelen Island (Lescroël and Bost 2006) and Crozet (C.A. Bost in litt. 2019), all in the southwest Indian Ocean. The reasons for the changes are unknown, but could be related to changing marine foodwebs.


Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Presence Origin Resident Breeding visitor Non-breeding visitor Passage migrant
Antarctica extant native yes
Argentina extant native
Australia extant native yes
Bouvet Island (to Norway) extant uncertain
Chile extant native yes
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) extant native yes
French Southern Territories extant native yes
Heard Island and McDonald Islands (to Australia) extant native yes
New Zealand extant vagrant
South Africa extant native yes
South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands extant native yes
St Helena (to UK) extant vagrant

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
French Southern Territories Île de l'Est
French Southern Territories Île aux Cochons
French Southern Territories Péninsule Courbet
French Southern Territories Southern coast of Péninsule Jeanne d'Arc
French Southern Territories Péninsule Rallier du Baty
French Southern Territories Îles Nuageuses and Île Clugny
French Southern Territories Île Foch, Île Sainte Lanne Gramont and Île Howe
South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands South Georgia - mainland, islands, islets and stacks
South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands South Sandwich Islands
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Seal Bay, East Falkland
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Beauchêne Island
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Beaver Island Group
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Bleaker Island Group
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Jason Islands Group
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Keppel Island
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Lively Island Group
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) New Island Group
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Passage Islands Group
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Pebble Island Group
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Saunders Island
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Sea Lion Islands Group
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Speedwell Island Group
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) West Point Island Group
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Bull Point, East Falkland
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Hope Harbour, West Falkland
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Volunteer Point, East Falkland
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Bertha's Beach, East Falkland
Heard Island and McDonald Islands (to Australia) Heard and McDonald Islands
Australia Macquarie Island
Antarctica Rosenthal Islands
Antarctica West Admiralty Bay, King George Island
Antarctica Ardley Island, King George Island
Antarctica Yankee Harbour, Greenwich Island
Antarctica Cuverville Island
Antarctica Petermann Island
South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands South Georgia Inner Marine
Antarctica Antarctica Marine 2
Antarctica Antarctica Marine 12
Antarctica Antarctica Marine 11
Antarctica Antarctica Marine 7
Antarctica Antarctica Marine 3
Antarctica Antarctica Marine 4
Antarctica Antarctica Marine 9

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Grassland Subantarctic major breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud major breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) major non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) major breeding
Altitude   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 Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
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%) No decline Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success
Human intrusions & disturbance Recreational activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Species disturbance
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic species/disease of unknown origin - Unspecified species Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Causing/Could cause fluctuations Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Species mortality
Pollution Industrial & military effluents - Oil spills Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 3
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Species mortality

Utilisation
Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - non-trivial recent
Fuels - - non-trivial recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - international non-trivial recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Pygoscelis papua. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/gentoo-penguin-pygoscelis-papua on 04/03/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org on 04/03/2024.