King Penguin

Aptenodytes patagonica

There are 17 species of penguin and the King Penguin is the second largest, weighing up to 18kg. The largest is the Emperor Penguin, which can weigh 45kg and the smallest is the Little Penguin which weighs 2kg.

Distribution: South Georgia Island to Tierra del Fuego.

Diet: Fresh whole Herring, plus vitamins and salt.

Breeding:  The King Penguin incubates a single egg on their feet.  As with most penguin species they are brooded by both male and female, with incubation lasting from 33-64 days.  Newly hatched chicks are covered with fine down and continue to be cared for by both parents until they are big enough and able to keep themselves warm.  Food is provided by both parents in the form of regurgitated fish, squid or krill.  The chicks of most species will moult into their adult plumage and fledge at between 2 and 5 months, however King Penguin chicks take up to 16 months.

Status in the wild: This is one of the few penguin species whose numbers are steady and on some islands are on the increase.

IUCN Red Data Book – Listed as Vulnerable (International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources )

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