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Zoo location: 
Scientific Name: 
Eudyptula minor novaehollandiae
Species class: 
Least Concern
Population Trend: 
Quick Facts

Life Span: 15-20 years

Size: Approx 30-40cm

Weight: 1kg

The little penguin is the smallest of the 17 penguin species. They are blueish-grey with a white underside and throat. Males are slightly bigger than females.

Collective noun: Colony

Fun Facts

Size: The little penguin is the smallest of all the penguin species.

Vocals: These penguins are noisy communicators, producing a variety of distinctive snorts, screeches, brays and growls depending on their activity.

Native: The little penguin is the only species of penguin found in Australia. While all species of penguin are found in the Southern Hemisphere, it is often surprising to people that penguins can be found as far north as Sydney. In fact, only few species are found in cold climates.

Preening: Little penguins spend a lot of time preening themselves with a wax-like oil that is secreted from a gland near the base of their tail. This assists in waterproofing.

Moulting: Little penguins undergo an annual moult that lasts for about 15 days. They come ashore to moult and do not go out to sea during this time because they have lost their waterproofing. They retire to burrows and shelters and don’t eat during this time.

Predators: Natural predators of little penguins include sharks and seals.

At Taronga:

We have a large colony of little penguins at Taronga consisting of approximately 49 penguins. Currently Taronga has 12 breeding pairs.

Beginning of breeding season at Taronga is a very noisy affair with males jostling for the prime breeding burrows.

Taronga’s Little Penguin breeding program has been so successful that we have been able to send birds to other institutions around the world to boost genetic diversity.

Taronga’s Wildlife Hospital also treats about 30 Little Penguins annually, to hopefully rehabilitate and rerelease back into the wild.







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