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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Check Out These Unbelievable Facts About The Snares Penguin

Snares penguin facts about a species native to New Zealand.

Snare Island is a group of small islands uninhabited by humans in New Zealand and is home to the snares penguin species, and is where the penguins get their name. New Zealand is the ideal climate for these penguins to exist, primarily because the climate is moderate as well as it has enough vegetation for breeding and roosting. The habitat caters to all their other needs and is a comfortable home for the penguin.  

They are largely black in color but their underparts are white and their head has distinct color variations as well. Snares penguin temperament is more or less similar to other species however during breeding season they engage in fights over territories as well as resources within their territories. They are wild animals and are vulnerable species which is primarily due to loss of habitat and changing environmental conditions. If you liked this article please visit wandering albatross and least tern.

Snares Penguin Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Snares Penguin?

Snares penguins are a type of bird, native to New Zealand. Penguins are birds however, they cannot fly high like other species of birds.

What class of animal does a Snares Penguin belong to?

Snares crested penguins belong to the Aves class of species. Their breeding range is restricted to one small island group.

How many Snares Penguins are there in the world?

There are a total of 25,000 breeding pairs of snare penguins and 30,000 breeding pairs on the islands. These groups of species are particularly threatened due to loss of habitat, global warming, and restricted breeding range.

Where does a Snares Penguin live?

Snares penguins live primarily on Snares Island near the ocean. They cannot live in extreme temperatures and need a specific habitat to survive. They survive on tree cover of the Oleria forests or on coastal rocks.

What is a Snares Penguin's habitat?

A snares penguin's habitat is primarily the forests on Snares Islands. They don't travel far during winters and live away from the sea. They prefer coastal rocks where they build a nest for their young to molt from January to March above landing sites. They cannot survive in extreme climate conditions.

Who do Snares Penguins live with?

Adult snares penguins live independently, however, young ones are found with their mothers until they are old enough to live by themselves. They are seen living away from human populations and are not to be adopted as pets. If you wish to see these unique beings it's best to visit a conservation center or a forest where they are specifically kept.

How long does a Snares Penguin live?

Snares crested penguin's lifespan is from 20 to 22 years. Their average life expectancy is eleven years. The oldest penguin that lived is the Gentoo penguin who lived for 41 years and 141 days and was a resident of Odense Zoo.

How do they reproduce?

All species of penguins lay eggs. Emperor penguins are the only exceptional ones who lay one egg while all other species of penguins lay two eggs. Snares penguins also lay two eggs post-mating but in most instances, the second one does not survive. The young ones use their beaks to break the shell when they are ready to hatch. Male and female penguins mate for life.  The current population is estimated at 30,000 breeding pairs. Male and female penguins take turns to keep their offspring between their legs to keep them warm and safe. This is done for a period of 31 to 73 days. When the chicks are three to four weeks old the parents form a creche with other chicks.

What is their conservation status?

The Snares crested penguin is considered to be a vulnerable species by the International Union For Conservation Of Nature (IUCN).

Snares Penguin Fun Facts

What do Snares Penguins look like?

Crested penguin snares have dull red eyes and a yellow crest beginning at the base of the bill

The snares penguins are three times larger than the little penguins. They have a black head back, face, and throat, a yellow crest, and white underparts. Their bill is orange and has pink skin around the base. The Snares crested penguin has a pale yellow band stretching from the base of its beak above the eyes, consisting of feathers hanging down the sides of its crown. They have deep, but dull, red eyes with a black chin and throat.

How cute are they?

A young snares penguin chick is extremely cute to look at and the adults are equally exotic and vibrant in appearance. Chicks are seldom seen out in the open unless you get the chance to see penguins in dense colonies.

How do they communicate?

Snares penguins are social beings and can become noisy as well. They make use of a variety of vocalizations that can be heard from a long distance, such as trumpeting, hissing, and crying sounds. Aggression is expressed by a short and harsh barking sound to contact other mates.

How big is a Snares Penguin?

Snares penguins are 20-28 inches (50-70cm) tall, which is three times bigger than the smallest penguin species, Eudyptula minor, which is 13 inches (33cm) tall.

How fast can a Snares Penguin fly?

Snares crested penguins make use of their wings to glide through the water. They are often referred to as flippers. It also helps them by acting as a paddle while catching prey. Penguins are fast swimmers and can swim at speeds of 15 mph (24kph) to hunt for possible prey.

How much does a Snares Penguin weigh?

Snares crested penguins can weigh 5-8lbs (2-4kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

Adult male snares crested penguins are called cocks, and females are called hens.

What would you call a baby Snares Penguin?

A baby snares penguin is called a chick. Baby snares penguins hatch from an egg. When born they have feathers on their body but as they grow they develop skin on their bodies. Their body parts develop over time and their aerodynamic shape helps them glide through the water while swimming. In the initial few weeks, the baby snares penguins stay close to their parents for warmth, as well as for other needs as they are completely dependant until they are ready to hunt for themselves.

What do they eat?

Snares crested penguins are carnivores, their diet consists of squid, krill, and small fish.  Their predators include sea lions and leopard seals. Crested penguin populations have been impacted greatly leading to an imbalance in the ecosystem and in turn putting the survival of other species in danger.  

Are they dangerous?

Snares penguins are endemic to snares islands and can be dangerous if posed in a position of threat. they are harmless beings as long as their territory is not invaded and they are not exploited else they react violently.

Would they make a good pet?

Crested penguins are innately wild animals hence adopting a crested penguin is not something you should consider since very few of the species exist and they thrive best in their own habitat. There have been instances of people owning penguins in conservation centers to help support the cause of rehabilitation and if you are interested you too could look into options available in your region. Adopting a penguin would cost about $59.

Did you know...

Crested penguins are excellent divers. Male penguins can dive as deep as 200ft deep while females can dive as deep as 50ft (20m) deep. That's surely an interesting snares penguin fact.

During the breeding season, males perform displays in order to attract female counterparts. For this, they stand with completely outstretched flippers. They also bow in front of each other. Performing such displays enhances their bond.  

The Snares Penguin's adaptations

Snares penguin adaptations include shallow pursuit diving, using webbed feet to protect them through the waters. They don't necessarily make holes in trees but at the bottom with the grass to build nests for the offspring. Their calls have multiple meanings. They are outspoken and have different calls for each situation and expression.

How do they compare to other penguins?

Snares penguins are different from other penguins in appearance and reside in different regions however all penguins belong to the same family of species and share common ancestors. If you ever get to see these unique species don't miss the chance to do the same.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including the African penguin and the California Condor.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our snares penguin coloring pages.

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