Environmental Research Unit, PO Box 434, Stanley, Falkland Islands
Gentoo PenguinPygoscelis papua
Breeding Range: Subantarctic islands and Antarctic Peninsula
Falklands Population: 110,000 breeding pairs
World Population: 320,000 breeding pairs
Gentoo Penguins nest in colonies adjacent to sandy or shingle beaches at over 80 locations around the Falklands. Two eggs of equal size are laid in late October, with birds re-laying if the first brood is lost. Chicks form into creches at 4 weeks of age, and fledge at 14 weeks in early February. Adults generally forage close to shore within 20km of the breeding site. Diet consists of roughly equal proportions of fish, squid and Lobster Krill found at depths of 20 to 100 metres. Adults can begin breeding at 2 years of age. Sexes are similar in appearance. The Falklands population suffered a decline during the 1980s and early 1990s, probably as a result of over-fishing, but appears to have reached an equilibrium by 2002, albeit at a lower population level than prior to the onset of commercial fishing.