The Galapagos penguin is one of the extraordinary fauna that can be found in the Enchanted Islands. The main difference between these penguins among others is that they can swim in tropical waters. At the same time, they belong to the smallest species of penguins in the world. Discover more about this fantastic animal!
Special features of the Galapagos penguin
As we said before, they can swim in tropical waters and their size is small. They are 29 inches long and weight 5.5 pounds. Regarding their diet, Galapagos penguins enjoy variety of foods found in the waters of their habitat. This include small fishes, like sardines and also crustaceans.
An endangered species
The Galapagos penguins are among the endangered species in the Galapagos Islands. This is not only because of their small size but also for the wide range of predators they have at the Archipelago. They can be attacked by rats, snakes, cats, crabs, sharks, fur seals, sea lions..., just to mention some.
Furthermore, due to the last year phenomenon of El Niño, the currents changed in Galapagos, which seriously affected their food supply. As a result, many of the adults died of hunger and they couldn´t reproduce as much due to the stressful conditions.
Luckily, the organization Galapagos Conservancy works on their protection, as well as some other associations, with some strategies to increase their population through the construction of artificial nest sites.
Where to see them?
In the Galapagos Islands they are found mostly on the west side of the Archipelago, in islands like Fernandina, Isabela or Bartolome Islands. However you can find them randomly in the islands of Floreana, Santiago, Bartolome and Santa Cruz.
They can be found specially in the rocky parts of the beaches. They live in little families, and they are very friendly with human visits. The penguins search their food only during the day at the ocean, then they return to the islands, where they can be found swimming, playing in the water, socializing, feeding their babies, eating or resting. If you swim or dive at the ocean, you will have the chance to share the experience with them, as well as the rest of extraordinary wildlife that can be found there.
If you are a birdwatcher you can't miss the opportunity of watching this marvelous species, unique in the world!