The Galápagos penguin is likely the rarest of all penguin species. It is categorized as Endangered (IUCN Red List 2020) because of their small population and restricted distribution, even within the Galápagos archipelago. These small penguins tuck themselves away in lava tubes and rocky crevices, often escaping the human eye. They are the most northerly penguin species and the only one that occurs above the equator. They can overheat standing on the hot lava in direct sunlight, so they seek shade in lava tubes, caves, and crevices to breed and molt. They breed mostly on the northern and eastern coast of Fernandina and southwestern Isabela. Galápagos penguins primarily consume nearshore schooling fish, often feeding within 5 meters of shore. They forage alone or in small groups but often feed in multi-species feeding groups with pelicans, boobies, and predatory fish like tuna. During the migration period penguins travel around the islands in search of food. Their biggest threats are climate change, loss of breeding sites, introduced species, overfishing, and mismanagement of fisheries.
Four to six rotating pictures
For more information on Galápagos penguin natural history visit the Global Penguin Society at https://www.globalpenguinsociety.org/portfolio-species-17.html
For more information on Galápagos penguin conservation status visit the IUCN Red List page at
Spheniscus mendiculus (Galápagos Penguin) (iucnredlist.org)