Family Penguins (Spheniscidae)

Least Concern

Gentoo Penguin (Pygoscelis papua)


French: Manchot papou German: Eselspinguin Spanish: Pingüino juanito

Aptenodytes papua

J. R. Forster

, 1781,

Falkland Islands


Proposed race taeniatus (Macquarie I) included in nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. p. papua (J. R. Forster, 1781) – Subantarctic S to c. 60° S.
  • P. p. ellsworthi Murphy, 1947 – Antarctic Peninsula to South Sandwich Is.
  • Descriptive notes

    76–81 cm; 4·5–8·5 kg. Rather large penguin with unmistakable head pattern. Nominate race has head, neck and upperparts slaty black, head and neck... read more


    Highly vocal. Contact call, usually given when coming ashore, a short, low, trumpeting “caw... read more


    Marine; found much farther N than other members of genus. Breeds on rocky coasts, sometimes among... read more

    Food and feeding

    Considerable variation with locality. S populations take large amounts of euphausiids, especially Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba... read more


    Arrival at colony varies with locality, Jun-Nov; earliest laying Jun/Jul in N, Nov in S. Least colonial member of genus, normally in small... read more


    Partial migrant; subantarctic populations tend to be sedentary, while those of Antarctic Peninsula... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Formerly suspected to have been in overall decline, and therefore listed as Near Threatened during 2004–2016. However, recent... read more

    Recommended citation

    Martínez, I., Christie, D.A., Jutglar, F., Garcia, E.F.J. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Gentoo Penguin (Pygoscelis papua). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 1 April 2020).