The Fiordland penguin, or in New Zealand Maori tawaki or sometimes pokotiwha, inhabits the southwestern coast lines of New Zealand’s South Island as well as Stewart, Codfish/Whenua Hou, and Solander Island in the South. Unlike all other crested penguin species that breed in well-defined colonies, tawaki nests are located in caves, rock crevasses, under tree logs and dense vegetation. Tawaki are presumed to be one of the rarest penguin species with current (likely under-)estimates of their population ranging from 2,500 to 3,000 breeding pairs. However, the species’ preference to breed in inaccessible terrain makes population surveys challenging.
For more information on Fiordland penguin natural history visit the Global Penguin Society at https://www.globalpenguinsociety.org/portfolio-species-10.html
For more information on Fiordland penguin conservation status visit the IUCN Red List page at https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22697776/182279725