Royal Penguins in the Tide



The Eudyptes schlegeli otherwise known as the Royal Penguin are flightless birds that prefer a colder habitat to live in and reproduce.  The majority of the time throughout the year, the Eudyptes schlegeli tend to live in the waters between Macquarie Island and Antarctica where they feed on fish and krill as well as other crustaceans (A-Z Animals. 2013.)  The waters surrounding the Antarctic are perfect for these aquatic birds Beach on Macquarie Islandbecause of the colder water and the closeness of the mostly unpopulated island of Macquarie where the birds exclusively enjoy nesting.  Because of the harsh conditions surrounding Macquarie island and the rest of the region near Antarctica, humans and many land based predators are not very present (A-Z Animals. 2013.)  The living environment limits predators of the Royal penguins to just leopard seals, large sharks, such as the Great White, and killer whales.  The only real predators that the penguins have ever had difficulty with is humans hunting them in order to use them for oil (Australian Government Department of the Environment. 2014.)

 Macquarie Island Topicagraphical Map      

The penguins can be found mostly in the waters surrounding Antarctica (Hindell et al. 2012), New Zealand, and their only known place for reproduction is found on Macquarie Island, south of Australia. (Holmes. 2007.)  They prefer this location in the middle of Australia and Antarctica because of the climate and terrain of the island.  The climate of Macquarie Island is quite stable with a very small change of temperature and large amounts of wind.  The temperature of the island averages 49 degrees Fahrenheit around January to 41 degrees Fahrenheit on average in July (Commonwealth of Australia. 2014.)  The terrain is kept very smooth due to the frequent and very strong winds that blow daily.  The average wind speed for the months of March to May as well as August to October, (the two windiest parts of the year) can reach wind speeds of up to 50 miles per hour with a year round average of 18.6 miles per hour (Commonwealth of Australia. 2104.)  The wind blows a large amount of water from the surrounding ocean onto the island causing large amounts of humidity but sweeps away any large piles of snow that could build up which the penguins enjoy because they prefer a smooth terrain.  The Island also has a very unique method of creation being one of the only subantarctic islands that is totally oceanic in origin and is believed to have entirely risen out of oceanic crust (Roberts. 200.)   The Eugyptes schlegeli require this kind of habitat for their nest building when they are reproducing, the birds prefer open and accessible nests that are close to the ocean.  They also tend to build nests in groups which is why a very large island with smooth beaches such as Macquarie is such an ideal location for them to live and reproduce.

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