The Macaroni and Royal penguin diverged from other crested penguins about 2 million years ago with the onset of pleisocene glaciation. Polymorphisms exhibited by royal and some Indian Ocean populations make plumage classification unreliable. Royal penguins breed principally at Macquarie while Macaroni penguins are circumpolar in distribution breeding also on Macquarie Island the strong hold for Royal penguins. With the removal of cats and rats on Macquarie island penguin breeding success is likely to increase.
For more information on royal penguin natural history visit the Global Penguin Society at
For more information on royal penguin conservation status visit the IUCN Red List page at https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22697797/132603136