Royal Penguin

Eudyptes schlegeli

Habitat

Royal penguins occupy beaches or bare areas on vegetation-covered rocky slopes. They spend most of their time in the waters around Antarctica. They can be found breeding on island surrounding Australia, mostly Macquarie island and Bishop and Clerk islands (Carruthers, 2014).


http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/birds/penguins/royal_penguin_range.html

Physical Characteristics

Royal penguins are have a white front and a black back. Their beak is orange and they have a yellow, orange, and black crest on their head that looks like a crown giving them their name. At full height they stand 27.5 inches weighing up to 8.8-12 pounds (Carruthers, 2014).


http://www.theanimalfiles.com/birds/penguins/royal_penguin.html

Mating and Reproduction

Royal penguins breed of Macquarie Island off the coast of Australia. They use vocal and body movements to attract their mate. Once they have found a mate they will breed with this mate year after year. If they can not find a mate they may move on to another. The couple will create a nest out of debris and weeds to keep their eggs safe. It is common for there to be two eggs layer in the nest, but is unusual for more than one to hatch. The egg will hatch in 35 days. The male and female will take turns caring for their young while the other goes and gets food (Bioexpedition, 2015).

Special Needs and Abilities

Royal penguins can swim up to 20 mph and take dives more than 150 meters deep. Their life span can range from 15-20 years (A-Z animals, 2008).. Royal penguins survive in colonies up to 500,00 pairs. Their population is around 850,000 pairs in total (Carruthers, 2014).



http://a-z-animals.com/animals/royal-penguin/

Niche

Royal penguins feed on krill, squid, and shrimp. They take dives to find their prey that last up to two minutes. The royal penguin has no land based predators due to the harsh environment they live in. They are hunted in the waters by leopard seals, sharks, and killer whales. Also humans have had a great impact on these animals' population (A-Z animals, 2008).

Significance

Royal penguins are classified as a vulnerable species. Royal penguins were highly poached for the oil found in their feathers. Men were given license to hunt these animals and use cruel methods to extract the oil from them. Some were also used as a food source for some people. Fisheries around Macquarie island have been highly regulated to protect the penguins food sources (Royal Penguin).

Works Cited

Carruthers, L. (2014, January 1). Royal Penguin: The Animal Files. Retrieved April 18, 2015, from http://www.theanimalfiles.com/birds/penguins/royal_penguin.html


Royal Penguin. (2015, January 1). Retrieved April 18, 2015, from http://www.bioexpedition.com/royal-penguin/


Royal Penguin. (2008, January 1). Retrieved April 18, 2015, from http://a-z-animals.com/animals/royal-penguin/


Royal Penguin. (n.d.). Retrieved April 18, 2015, from http://www.photovolcanica.com/PenguinSpecies/Royal/RoyalPenguinPhotos.html