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Penguin Population








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Penguin Population by Country 2024

  • Population estimates unavailable for a handful of countries.
  • The number of species of penguin in the world is slightly uncertain, as some species resemble one another greatly. Most sources settle on 17-18 distinct species, though geneticists believe the number may be as many as 20 species.
  • Many penguins live, or at least breed, in remote non-countries such as Antarctica, which has an estimated penguin population of 44,000,000. Four species of penguin live almost exclusively in the Antarctic: Adelie, Chinstrap, Emperor, and Gentoo.
  • Several remote non-sovereign territories near the Antarctic also have significant penguin populations, including the Norwegian territory Bouvet Island or the British territory South Georgia Island.
  • Penguins are largely migratory and frequently spend the non-breeding season far from their breeding grounds. Hence, the breeding habitats listed in Table 2 should not be considered the only locations where a given species may appear.

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Penguin Population
Typical Species
Chile13,000,00010 - King, Emperor, Gentoo, Adelie, Chinstrap, Rockhopper, Macaroni, Little, Humboldt and Magellanic.
Falkland Islands1,200,0005 - King, Gentoo, Rockhopper, Magellanic, and Macaroni
Argentina1,000,0007 - King, Emperor, Gentoo, Chinstrap, Rockhopper, Macaroni and Magellanic.
Australia500,00011 - Little/Blue (the only species to breed there), King , Emperor, Gentoo, Adelie, Chinstrap, Rockhopper, Fiordland, Erect-Crested, Macaroni and Magellanic.
New Zealand500,0007 - Rockhopper, Tawaki or Fiordland, Snares, Erect-crested, Yellow-eyed (native), White-flippered and Blue. | Note: Other sources claim as many as 13 species frequent New Zealand, but do not list the species.
South Africa60,0004 - King, Rockhopper, Macaroni and African (endangered species).
Namibia26,0002 - Little/Blue and African.
Brazil10,0001 - Magellanic. | However, King, Rockhopper and Macaroni may appear sporadically or accidentally.
Peru4,0002 - King and Humboldt.
Angola1 - African.
Mozambique1 - African.
Ecuador2 - Humboldt and Galapagos.
Uruguay3 - King, Rockhopper and Magellanic.

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Scientific Name
Estimated # of Reproductive Pairs
Conservation Status
Breeding Habitats
Yellow-eyed penguinMegadyptes antipodes1,700EndangeredNew Zealand: South-east coast of South Island, Stewart Island and adjacent island, Aukland and Campbell Islands.
Southern Rockhopper penguinEudyptes chrysocome1,200,000VulnerableSub-Antarctic and temperate islands in the Atlantic Ocean (Falklands/Malvinas, Isla Pingüino and Isla de los Estados), in the Indian Ocean (Marion and Prince Edward Islands, Crozet Islands, Kerguelen Islands, Heard and McDonald Islands). In the Pacific Ocean (Macquarie Island, Campbell Island, Auckland Island, Antipodes Islands and seven islands off the coast of Chile: Barnevelt, Terhalten, Buenaventura, Ildefonso, Noir and Diego Ramirez).
Snares penguinEudyptes robustus24,000 - 29,000VulnerableThe Snares archipelago, 200 km south of New Zealand. Breeding colonies located on North East Island (the main island), Broughton Island and the islets Toru and Rima of the Western Chain.
Royal penguinEudyptes schlegeli500,000Near ThreatenedMacquarie Island and its adjacent Clerk and Bishop islets.
Northern Rockhopper penguinEudyptes moseleyi190,000 - 230,000EndangeredTristan da Cunha islands and Gough Island in the central South Atlantic Ocean and at Amsterdam and St Paul Islands in the Indian Ocean.
Magellanic penguinSpheniscus magellanicus1,200,000 - 1,500,000Near ThreatenedSouthern coasts of South America, from central Argentina to Central Chile, including Malvinas/Falkland Islands, Cape Horn, Magdalena Island, Cabo Virgenes, Observatorio Island, Punta Tombo, Leones Island, Tova, Punta Clara, and San Lorenzo.
Macaroni penguinEudyptes chrysolophus6,300,000VulnerableSub-Antarctic islands throughout the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans, such as Prince Edward Island, Marion, Crozet, Kerguelen, Heard, Bouvetoya, South Georgia, South Sandwich, South Orkney, South Shetland, Falklands, Noir, Recalada, Cabo Pilar, Leonard, Bueneventure, Diego Ramirez, Ildefonso, Deceit, Terhalten, and Barnavelt.
Little (Australia) or Blue (New Zealand) penguinEudyptula minor300,000Least ConcernEntire coastline of New Zealand, the Chatham Islands, Tasmania, and southern Australia, including Phillip, Ninth, Gabo, Forsyth, and St. Helens Islands.
King penguinAptenodytes patagonicus1,600,000Least ConcernSouth Georgia Islands, Crozet Island, Prince Edward Islands, Kerguelen Islands, Macquarie Island, Falkland/Malvinas Islands, Tierra del Fuego, as well as other temperate and sub-antarctic islands in Southern Hemisphere.
Humboldt penguinSpheniscus humboldti15,000 - 20,000VulnerableCoasts of Chile and Peru, in the region of the Humboldt Current, including ChaCaral, Pajaro Niño, Isla Pingüino, Metalqui, Mazorca, Sombrerillo, Caleta, and many more.
Gentoo penguinPygoscelis papua387,000Least ConcernMain colonies on the Falkland/Malvinas Islands, South Georgia and South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula; smaller populations on Macquarie Island, Heard Islands, Crozet and Sandwich.
Galápagos penguinSpheniscus mendiculus750 - 2,300EndangeredThe Galápagos Islands, to which it is endemic. The Galápagos penguin lives farther north than any other penguin.
Fiordland penguinEudyptes pachyrhynchus2,500 - 3,000VulnerableSouthwest coast of New Zealand's South Island as well as Solander, Codfish and Stewart Islands.
Erect-crested penguinEudyptes sclateri81,000EndangeredBounty Island, Antipodes Island, other islands to the south and southeast of New Zealand.
Emperor penguinAptenodytes forsteri270,000 - 350,000Near ThreatenedAntarctica, almost exclusively.
Chinstrap penguinPygoscelis antarctica4,000,000Least ConcernAntarctica, South Shetland, South Orkney and South Sandwich Islands. Small breeding populations on South Georgia, Bouvet, Heard and the Balleny Islands.
African penguinSpheniscus demersus25,000EndangeredIslands off the coasts of Namibia and South Africa, including Mercury, Ichaboe, Halifax, Possession, Plumpudding, Sinclair, Jutten, Vondel, Dassen, Robben, Boulders Beach, Stony Point, Dyer, St. Croix, Bird, Seal, and Jahleel.
Adélie penguinPygoscelis adeliae4,000,000-5,000,000Least ConcernAntarctica, South Sandwich Island, South Orkney Island, South Shetland Island.

Penguin Population by Country 2024