Accessed from Wiki Commons and cropped. Licensed for reuse under Creative Commons License link at bottom of page. Photographed by Samuel Blanc.


Habitat & Geography

     Eudyptes chrysocome (Southern Rockhopper penguin) lives in the Tundra biome on rocky shores, hence their name. They can be found on the islands surrounding Antarctica in the Southern oceans such as the South Atlantic, South Pacific, and South Indian (Raya Rey et al. 2012). The species exists as two subspecies with different ranges. Eudyptes chrysocome chrysocome (Western Rockhopper penguin) breeds primarily in New Island, Falkland Islands and other islands in southern Chile and Argentina (Poisbleau et al. 2009). Subspecies Eudyptes chrysocome filholi (Eastern Rockhopper penguin), on the other hand, breeds at the tip of South Africa, New Zealand, as well as French Southern Territories (BirdLife International 2010).Photographed by Liam Quinn. Licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons License at bottom of page. Rockhopper penguins on rocky shoreline.

     Although not the focus of this website, there is also a northern species of Rockhopper penguins called Eudyptes chrysocome moseleyi. This species can be found in the South Atlantic Ocean.

     Western Rockhopper penguins inhabiting the Falkland Islands off the coast of South Africa have been protected starting in the 1950s. The protection is aimed to shield rockhopper penguins from land predators that disrupt the Photographed by Liam Quinn. Licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons License at bottom of page. Rockhopper penguin and an albatross. stability of the food web resulting in a potentially dangerous population decline (Dehnhard et al. 2013b). While the Falkland Islands are the major breeding grounds for Western Rockhopper penguins (Dehnhard et al. 2013b), Franklin Bay on Staten Island in Argentina is still the most highly concentrated location in the world for this subspecies (Raya Rey et al. 2012).

     Southern Rockhopper penguins build their nests on rock gullies, hence their common name, and on cliffs with deep, freshwater below. They prefer these cliffs because they are able to dive into the water from their nesting site (Bingham 2014).

     Along with Southern Rockhopper penguins, sea lions, seals, southern giant petrels (Macronectes giganteus), black-browed albatrosses and other seabirds are found sharing the same habitat (Dehnhard et al. 2013a, Raya Rey et al. 2012).

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