EN
Northern Rockhopper Penguin Eudyptes moseleyi



Taxonomy

Taxonomic source(s)
Banks, J., Van Buren, A., Cherel, Y., & Whitfield, J. B. 2006. Genetic evidence for three species of Rockhopper Penguins Eudyptes chrysocome. Polar Biology 30(1): 61-67.
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.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- A2acde+3cde+4acde A2acde+3cde+4acde; B2ab(v)

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2020 Endangered A2acde+3cde+4acde
2018 Endangered A2acde+3cde+4acde
2016 Endangered A2acde+3cde+4acde
2012 Endangered A2acde+3cde+4acde
2010 Endangered A2a,c,d,e; A3c,d,e; A4a,c,d,e
2008 Endangered A2a,c,d,e; A3c,d,e; A4a,c,d,e
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) 1,840,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 16,700,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 250 medium
Number of locations 7 -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 413700 medium estimated 2020
Population trend Decreasing good estimated -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) 35-57 - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) 50-60 - - -
Number of subpopulations 2 - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 10 - - -

Population justification: The latest estimates suggest a total population of c. 206,850 breeding pairs with the majority of the population (89.7%) being found at the Atlantic Ocean breeding sites (62,791 pairs on Middle/Alex Island in 2016, 64,700 pairs on Gough Island in 2006, 20,423 pairs on Nightingale Island in 2017, 33,867 pairs on Inaccessible Island in  2016, 3584 pairs on Tristan da Cunha islands in 2015) and 10.3% at the Indian Ocean islands (12,161 pairs on Amsterdam Island in 2015, 7,580 pairs on St Paul Island in 2018) (RZSS, BAS, CEBC-CNRS, RSPB, TAAF, TCD 2018).

Overall, recent analysis of population trends indicates that over the previous 30 years (three generations) the number of Northern Rockhopper Penguins globally declined by 57% (RZSS, BAS, CEBC-CNRS, RSPB, TAAF, TCD 2018).

Early records indicate that millions of Northern Rockhopper Penguins used to occur on both Tristan da Cunha and Gough Island prior to 1955. As a very rough estimate, 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). At Amsterdam Island, numbers have been declining at an average rate of 3.7% since the early 1970s resulting in a 80% decline over the past three generations (Barbraud et al. in revision). On Saint Paul Island, the population has increased at a rate of 1.4% since the early 1970s (Barbraud et al. in revision).

Trend justification: Recent population models indicate that over the previous 30 years (three generations) the number of Northern Rockhopper Penguins globally declined by 57% and suggest an ongoing decline (Birdlife International 2010; 2017, RZSS, BAS, CEBC-CNRS, RSPB, TAAF, TCD 2018). Trends are contrasted at the species' two breeding locations in the Indian Ocean. At St. Paul Island, numbers have been increasing at an average rate of 1.4% since the early 1970s (Barbraud et al. in revision). At Amsterdam Island, numbers have been declining at an average rate of 3.7% since the early 1970s resulting in a 80% decline over the past three generations (Barbraud et al. in revision). At the Atlantic Ocean breeding sites, while numbers in the northern islands are believed to be stable, the population on Gough Island is still in decline (Cuthbert et al. 2009, Robson et al. 2011). Given the magnitude of the previously estimated declines, a repeat of the population models to update the current trend is a high priority action for the species.


Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) V Extant Yes
French Southern Territories N Extant Yes Yes
New Zealand V Extant Yes
South Africa V Extant Yes
St Helena (to UK) N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
St Helena (to UK) Gough Island
St Helena (to UK) Tristan da Cunha - Marine
St Helena (to UK) Gough Island - Marine
St Helena (to UK) Tristan Island

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Grassland Subantarctic major breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Seasonally Wet/Flooded major breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands major breeding
Marine Intertidal Rocky Shoreline major breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic major non-breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major breeding
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major non-breeding
Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks) major breeding
Altitude 0 - 170 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%) Negligible declines Medium Impact: 6
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%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Indirect ecosystem effects, Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Canis familiaris Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Likely to Return Minority (<50%) Unknown Past Impact
Stresses
Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Named species Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Sus domesticus Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Unlikely to Return Minority (<50%) Rapid Declines Past Impact
Stresses
Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic native species/diseases - Named species Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Competition, Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic species/disease of unknown origin - Pasteurella multocida Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Species mortality
Pollution Industrial & military effluents - Oil spills Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Eudyptes moseleyi. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/10/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/10/2021.