Where to Go to See All 17 Species of the World’s Penguins

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You don’t need to venture deep into the arctic to see penguins in the wild, but you do need to head south. The majority of the world’s penguins live south of the equator, either on Antarctica itself or on the various land masses that surround the world’s wildest continent.

Little Penguins; the smallest penguin species in the world.

Little Penguins; the smallest penguin species in the world.

Australia

The world’s smallest penguin, the Little Penguin, lives in colonies around Australia’s southern coast. One colony resides at Penneshaw, on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island, which is also home to other Australian critters like kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas and the rare glossy black cockatoo.

The Galapagos Penguin; the only penguin that lives north of the equator.

The Galapagos Penguin; the only penguin that lives north of the equator.

Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)

The Galapagos penguin, which lives farther north than any other species of penguin on the planet, is endemic to the Galapagos islands. These birds breed in crevices beneath old lava flows and coexist alongside giant tortoises, sea lions, marine iguanas, green turtles and a multitude of bird species.

The Yellow-Eyed Penguin; at 5.5-8 kg, the Yellow-Eyed Penguin is the 4th largest penguin species in the world.

The Yellow-Eyed Penguin; at 5.5-8 kg, the Yellow-Eyed Penguin is the 4th largest penguin species in the world.

New Zealand’s sub-Antarctic

The scattered islands are home to at least five species of penguin, including the erect-crested, yellow-eyed and Fiordland penguins. The islands are also inhabited by several endemic species of albatross, sperm whales and dolphins.

The African Penguin, also known as the Black-footed Penguin, resides solely in southern African waters.

The African Penguin, also known as the Black-footed Penguin, resides solely in southern African waters.

South Africa

African penguins, also known as jackass penguins and black-footed penguins, is the only penguin species on the continent. These little birds are found on South Africa’s Cape Peninsula,  a region also home to southern right whales and great white sharks.

The Emperor Penguin, the largest penguin species on Earth, resides in the Antarctic circle.

Antarctica

The Antarctic Peninsula is home to half-a-dozen penguin species, including huge colonies of king penguins, adélies, chinstraps, gentoos, and rockhoppers. To see emperor penguins, you must head even farther south across the Antarctic Circle to the coastal pack ice.

The Magellanic penguin was named after Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, who first spotted the birds in 1520.

Patagonia

At Punta Tombo, on the Patagonian coast of Argentina, more than a million Magellanic penguins have excavated a labyrinth of burrows beneath the sand dunes. The Magellanic penguins also live alongside elephant seals, southern right whales, guanacos, and Andean condors in this gold mine of unique Argentine wildlife.

 

About Author

Lisa Nikolau

Lisa Nikolau is a freelance writer who has been specializing in travel, culture and current events since 2012. She currently writes on travel and news related topics for YouTravel.com.au.She has traveled to Peru, throughout west and eastern Europe, and has lived in southern Spain.At the moment, Lisa’s favorite pastimes are learning foreign languages, exploring hiking trails in the Olympic National Forest, and ending the day with friends at one of Seattle’s many microbreweries.