Do you still remember Pingu and Pinga or the famous Playboy Penguin from the animation series Pingu and Looney tunes respectively? These cartoon characters were favorite of many or few of us. They remind us of our Childhood and make us nostalgic.
Penguins are the flightless birds which live in the Southern Hemisphere of the globe. They are cute and are of different sizes, but many of us don’t know much about the penguins, their different species and their habitat.
In this blog I will share some interesting piece of knowledge on our childhood characters and I will also tell you where you can meet them.
Also see: Most Beautiful Islands in India
Types of penguins in the world
It is one of the most debatable topics among ornithologists, some say that there are 26 species of penguins whereas according to others there are only 17 species and rest of them are subspecies of penguin and should not be categorized separately.
Here is the list of 18 species of the penguin family which are categorized, 11 of them are considered as globally threatened.
Following are the species of penguin:
- King Penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus)
- Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri)
- Gentoo Penguin (Pygoscelis papua)
- Chinstrap Penguin (Pygoscelis antarticus)
- Adelie penguin (Pygoscelis adelie)
- Southern Rockhooper Penguin (Eudyptes chrysocome)
- Northern Rockhooper Penguin (Eudyptes moseleyi)
- Snares Penguin (Eudyptes robustus)
- Fiordland Penguin (Eudyptes pachyrhynchus)
- Macaroni Penguin (Eudyptes Chrysolophus)
- Erect – crested Penguin (Eudyptes sclateri)
- Royal Penguin (Eudyptes schlegeli)
- Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor)
- Yellow – eyed Penguin (Megadyptes antipodes)
- African Penguin (Spheniscus demerus)
- Humboldt Penguin (Spheniscus humboldti)
- Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus)
- Galapagos Penguin (Spheniscus medicullus)
So these were the 18 worldwide species of the penguins, let’s move forward to their habitat.
Where do penguins live?
As they are flightless birds penguins spend most of their time in the water to make up for their lack of flight with their swimming skills, they can swim for hundreds of kilometers continuously without rest. One of the oldest myths is that all penguins need to live on the ice only but the fact is 11 out of 18 species live in the temperate zone of the globe. The penguins prefer to live in islands and remote continental regions so that they are safe from any land predator and their inability to fly will not work against them.
They live in the Southern hemisphere of the globe and there is no penguin on the Northern hemisphere. Majority of the penguin species can be found in places like Antarctica, New Zealand, South America, South Africa, and Australia.
List of places where you can find penguins
There are two categories of places where penguin lives i.e natural habitat and man-made habitat. We will cover both types of habitats one by one and collectively I will tell you 10 best places around the globe where you can find penguins.
1. Galapagos Islands
It is the home for the second smallest penguin known as Galapagos penguin. They are only 1.5 feet tall and their weight is around 5 pounds. When they are down for hunting they can swim at the rate of 34 km/h, you can easily encounter them while snorkeling around Bartolome islands.
2. Ballestas Islands
This island is situated in Peru and is the home for the famous Humboldt penguins which are now considered as endangered species of penguins. Due to the wide range of biodiversity and accessibility, this island is also known as “the poor man’s Galapagos”.
3. Martillo Island
The Martillo islands are in Argentina also known as the “penguin island” and are the home for two species of penguins that is Magallenics penguins and Gentoo penguins. These two species have very big colonies on this island, you can find these penguins from the month of September to April and after that, these penguins start the migration.
4. Boulder’s Beach
Located in South Africa Boulder’s Beach is a nice place to play with penguins under the sun. You can also view the colony of penguins from the viewing boardwalk which goes over the penguin refugee area. It is an open place you can easily find penguins in your way playing here and there. Make sure to check underneath of your car as sometimes these penguins wander around and come to parking lot too.
5. Paracas National Reserve
Paracas national reserve is the home for Humboldt Penguins and is considered as the treasure of Wildlife. You can also see various other animals like sea lions, guano birds, etc. This place is at the most beautiful corner of the world and is totally raw, it is a must-visit place for a nature lover.
6. Phillip Island
The Phillip Island is located in Australia and is the home for the world’s smallest penguin known as Little penguin. These penguins are also known as Fairy Penguin because of their small size and fairy look. This place is famous for the night parade of Little Penguins where they come at the beach from the sea for rest.
1. Edinburgh Zoo
This is situated in Scotland and it is the world’s first man-made habitat to breed penguins. This place is famous for the penguin parade with their masters or keepers. You can also see more than 1000 animals, this place was also the first in the United Kingdom to provide shelter to giant pandas and koalas.
2. Punta Tombo National Reserve
Punta Tombo National Reserve is at the eastern coast of Argentina and is also known as penguin paradise. It is the home for Magellanic penguins, approximately millions of these penguins come here to nest every September and they again migrate in the month of April. There is an artificially raised boardwalk so that the tourists can witness penguins guarding and feeding their chicks.
3. Schonbrunn Zoo
It is located in Vienna, Austria and is the world’s oldest zoo which was opened in 1752. It is the home for penguins, monkeys, pandas, elephants and other wild animals. This zoo is not just beautiful but also it is has established itself as the center of conservation and education.
4. Byculla Zoo
Last but not the list this zoo is located in Mumbai, India and is the place for the birth of India’s first penguin. It is the artificial home of the Humboldt penguins; the habitat is fully artificial specially prepared for the penguins.
So these were some places where you can find penguins, these flightless birds are the most beautiful creatures of nature. Nowadays they are at the point of extinction due to changes in the climate. We should take care of the Mother Nature otherwise we will lose these cute and beautiful creatures soon.