Galapagos wildlife

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Galapagos Islands sea birds


The Galapagos Penguin is a penguin endemic to the Galapagos Islands. It is the only penguin to live on the equator. Its nearest relatives are the African Penguin, the Magellanic Penguin and the Humboldt Penguin. Galapagos Penguins grow to 53 cm tall.

Galapagos penguins

They have a black head with a white border running from behind the eye, around the black ear-coverts and chin, to join on the throat.

They have blackish-grey upperparts and whitish underparts, with two black bands across the breast, the lower band extending down the flanks to the thigh. Juveniles differ in having a wholly dark head, greyer on side and chin, and no breast-band.

Galapagos flower

The current status of this penguin is endangered, with an estimated population of 1200. In recent decades this species has been influenced primarily by the effects of the El Nino Southern Oscillation on the availability of shoaling fish.

The penguin has different feeding strategies dependent on the water temperature.

If the water is below about 23ºC, they feed in large groups of twenty or more, as fish are abundant when the water is cool and rich. When the water is warmer they tend to feeding smaller groups or singly, as fish are less abundant.

This indicates that group fishing is more efficient when fish are abundant

Galapagos Islands sea birds, penguin
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