Falklands Conservation Magellanic Penguin
Magellanic Penguin


Environmental Research Unit, PO Box 434, Stanley, Falkland Islands

Magellanic Penguin

Spheniscus magellanicus
Local Name: Jackass
Breeding Range: Falkland Islands, Chile and Argentina
Length: 70cm.
Falklands Population: ~ 130,000 breeding pairs
World Population: ~ 1,500,000 breeding pairs

Magellanic Penguins are the only Falkland penguins to nest in burrows. Two eggs of equal size are laid during October, and chicks fledge in February. Chicks do not form creches. During incubation adults may travel up to 500km to forage, but when the chicks hatch they generally remain within 30km of the nest. Diet comprises of roughly equal proportions of fish, squid and Lobster Krill, taken at depths of less than 50 metres. Breeding sites are abandoned between April and September during the winter migration. Adults can breed at 4 years of age, and can live to 20 years. Sexes are similar in appearance. The Falklands population in 2002 stands at less than one quarter of its 1980s level, and is still declining, probably as a result of commercial fishing.


Web page created by Dr Mike Bingham