Now with only 1,600 of this rare species left in the world, 7,000 less than in 2000, it is expected that this breed of penguin will not live through the next decade.
Rare Yellow-Eyed Penguins About To Become Extinct
The rare yellow-eyed penguin is vanishing, and commercial fishing is likely to blame, the UK’s Guardian reported.
Found in New Zealand, close to half of the Codfish Island’s breeding population, already tiny, has disappeared.
The current numbers are the lowest they've been in 27 years, and conservationists fear that if something isn’t done quickly, this seabird could soon be gone, the report said.
Yellow-eyed penguin populations are declining all over New Zealand, but this drop is most severe on the island of Whenua Hou, also known as Codfish Island, in southern New Zealand.
Whenua Hou is a predatory-free sanctuary island dedicated mainly to protection of the kakapo bird, but also the yellow-eyed penguin, along with several other bird species. Numbering nearly 7,000 less than 20 years ago, according to The Guardian, yellow-eyed penguins now total fewer than 2,000.
The most recent survey of the yellow-eyed penguin, also known as hoiho, has shown that bird populations may further decline, with only 14 nests found on the entire Codfish Island—compared to 24 found last year, Eco Watch reported.
Bird populations are also dropping in other parts of New Zealand.
Scientists found only about 250 nests in the total southern east coast of New Zealand, compared to 261 nests found last year.