Where Do Galapagos Penguins Live?

Galapagos penguins, the most northerly penguin species, inhabit the western part of the Galapagos Islands. Some individual Galapagos penguins may occasionally venture to other islands in the archipelago. When compared to all other penguin species, the Galapagos penguin’s population is small, numbering not more than a few thousand individuals.

The Galapagos penguin also known as the Spheniscus mendiculus is the third smallest species of penguins in the world. It is recognized by the presence of a narrow C-shaped band of white feathers and is the most distinctive because it lives more in the northern hemisphere than any other Spheniscus form of seabird species.

C-shaped band

The Galapagos penguin is considered to be most close in comparison to the Humboldt penguin and the African penguin found along the coast of Peru and Chile.

While more than 90% percent of the world’s Galapagos penguins live among the western islands of Isabela and Fernandina, they can also be seen on Bartolome, Santiago northern Santa Cruz, and Floreana. The north tip of the Isabella island crosses the equator, meaning that these Galapagos penguins occasionally swim to the northern hemisphere plus they’re the only penguins to do so.

The Galapagos penguins molt before they breed and they may do this twice in a year. While molting, the Galapagos penguins usually stay out of the water. Since Galapagos penguins molt right before breeding, Galapagos penguins can ensure that they will not starve during the molting process. Hence, they go to the sea for food rather than starve though the water is warm in their area.

galapagos penguins in water

The Galapagos penguin also survives on a diet that is only comprised of marine animals such as small crustaceans and Krill which make up the majority of the Galapagos penguin’s diet plan along with larger sea animals such as squid, and numerous species of fish.

Galapagos penguins are a smaller size. It has many predators both inside the water and on the dry land. On land, the Galapagos penguins have to hold an eye out for hawks, crabs owls, and snakes. While in the water they must avoid fur seals, sea lions, and sharks. The Galapagos penguin has also been critically affected by human activity across the archipelago.

A Final Word

The northern species of penguins, Galapagos Penguins, breed right on the equator. Populations fluctuate heavily below the influence of Equator to the degree that the long-term survival of the species is vulnerable. The Galapagos Islands where it breeds on Fernandina, Isabela and possibly Bartholomew are endemic to the distribution of the solon Current, which provides cold nutrient-rich surface water.



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I got interested in penguins from a young age and as I grew I realized that penguins are such fascinating birds. I made it a mission to create a website where all information about penguins could be accessed in an easy to read format.

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