Gentoo Penguin (Pygoscelis papua )


Most closely related to the Adelie and Chinstrap Penguins which comprise the genus Pygoscelis.

Two subspecies are recognized:
P. p. papua

P. p. ellsworthi



One of the more colorful medium-sized penguins. Adults easily recognized by the bright orange bill and white interorbit band  running over the crown.

Males and females essentially identical in appearance. The more northerly subspecies (ellsworthi) is generally heavier than the southerly counterpart (papua). The latter also has a shorter bill and longer feathering.

Where and When

Antarctic and Subantarctic waters. The main breeding colonies are on the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Lles Kerguelen, with smaller populations on Macquarie, Heard, Prince Edward, South Orkney and South Shetland Islands as well as the Antarctic Peninsula. The total breeding population is estimated to be over 320,000 pairs. The species is rated as 'Lower Risk' by the 2000 IUCN Red List.


Copyright © 2002 All rights reserved. Angus Wilson
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