Snares-Crested Penguin


Photo by Thomas Mattern

Eudyptes robustus 

Status (IUCN v3.1)

Listed as vulnerable due to small geographic range; however, population numbers have remained stable. The islands are currently listed as nature reserves. Landing on islands is by permission only.

Conservation Concerns
Large amount of squid fishing nearby may be causing food competition.




Population Trend


Descriptive Characteristics
Adults have a yellow crest similar to a Fiordland penguin on the head, slightly more narrow in females. Back, upper tail, mantle are dark black-brown. Underparts are white. Bases of underparts are hidden, but in fact light grey-brown. Juvenile plumage is retained until 15 months old, and indistinguishable from adult after post-juvenile molt. Chicks’ down is short; head, hindneck, sides of neck and upperparts are dark brown. From lower throat, rest of neck, and underparts are a dull white.

Males slightly larger, but overlap of all fields occurs with the exception of bill index number, which is really the only for sure indicator to determine male and female by appearance. Bill depth ratio 27.7:24.2 male to female.

Weight: 3 kg
Beak: 5.92 cm
Flipper: 18.3 cm

Weight: 3.88 kg
Beak: 5.25 cm
Flipper: 17.7 cm

Contact calls are characterized by sharp barking sounds; ‘attack’ vocalizations are an abbreviated growl; sexual calls are ecstatic displays which starts as a rhythmic pumping or clapping sound that climaxes to rasping pulses; and nesting pairs demonstrate quiet humming sounds.<.p>

Breeding Biology


Average Arrival Date: September 1

Average Egg Laying Date: Septmeber 18
Incubation Period: 33.3 days
Chick Rearing Period: 21 days
Fledging Period: early January to mid-February
Average Annual Reproductive Success: 0.73 chick/nest
Nest:Nests are made with twigs, bones, vegetation, mud
Age at First Breeding: 6 years
Maximum Lifespan: 22 years
Egg Length: 7.2 cm
Egg Breadth: 5.5 cm
Molt: 24 to 30 days, ending by April 20

Crustaceans, cephalopods, fish. Using GPS and stomach flushing, it was found that on dive trips during the incubation phase, males consumed primarily fish (roughly 90%). Females consumed mostly krill (55%) on their dives. Diet outside of breeding season poorly known.

Small chicks and eggs are predated upon by Skuas. Seas are assumed to be predators of adults, juveniles and chicks at sea.