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Galapagos penguin

Spheniscus mendiculus


The Galapagos Penguin is a penguin endemic to the Galapagos Islands. It is the only penguin that lives north of the equator in the wild. It can survive due to the cool temperatures resulting from the Humboldt Current and cool waters from great depths brought up by the Cromwell Current. The Galapagos Penguin is one of the banded penguins, the other species of which live mostly on the coasts of mainland South America, and Africa.


Punta Vicente Roca, Galapagos

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87 Comments (1–25)

KarenL 8 years ago

Thanks fini1 - me too!

ceejayalyssa 8 years ago

wow! very cute :)

KarenL 8 years ago

Thanks vanvliet5!

KarenL 9 years ago

Thank you Mona! And thanks Dez for featuring my spotting!

Mona Pirih
Mona Pirih 9 years ago

Awesome series !!! Love it so much.

Smith Zoo
Smith Zoo 9 years ago

Congratulations Karen! Your extraordinary spot of the Galapagos Penguin was chosen for today's International Penguin Day blog:

KarenL 9 years ago

Thank you Hema & Leana!

Congrats Karen!

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 9 years ago

Love the third picture with the crabs in the background.

KarenL 9 years ago

Thank you Tibi, Larry & Lisa!

LisaDrewel 9 years ago

and the fabulous crabs behind him/her!

LarryGraziano 9 years ago

Congrats Karen!

tibiprada 9 years ago

Lovely ... Congratulations !

KarenL 9 years ago

Thank you Peter! We were indeed very lucky to see several of these highly endangered birds, both in & out of the water. One swan past me underwater while we were snorkeling but unfortunately I wasn't fast enough to get a photo. They really do "fly" underwater!

Great series of spottings, Karen! - A few additional facts: This is one of the most endangered bird species on Galapagos. The Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos, jointly with the National Park Service, does regular censuses of the Galapagos Penguin population since 1961. They show that the total number of breeding pairs fluctuates considerably and often is way below 1,000. They breed almost exclusively on Fernandina and the west coast of Isabela where the sea is coldest and most productive. When "El Niño" hits them with warm water, which happens every 5 to 10 years, the population crashes. The Darwin Foundation and the National Park are working hard to reduce or exclude additional pressure resulting from feral cats and introduced bird malaria. - For more info on our work go to

KarenL 9 years ago

Thanks guys!

williefromwi 9 years ago

Congrats Karen

CarolSnowMilne 9 years ago

Congratulations for National Geographic Spotting of the Week. Love your spots!!! Great job!

KarenL 9 years ago

Thank you Sachin!

Sachin Zaveri
Sachin Zaveri 9 years ago

Congratulations Karen!

KarenL 9 years ago

Thanks Luis & Carol!

CarolSnowMilne 9 years ago

WOW! Love your penguin! Great series! Adorable!

LuisStevens 9 years ago

Congrats Karen.

KarenL 9 years ago

Thank you guys, & a fantastic spotting-filled New Year to you too!

namitha 9 years ago

Congratulations Karen. Wish you an amazing New Year.

Spotted by

Parroquia Tomas de Berlanga (Santo Tomas), Galápagos, Ecuador

Spotted on Nov 26, 2012
Submitted on Dec 19, 2012


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