White-Flippered Penguin
Scientific Name: Eudyptula albosignata albosignata
World Conservation Union
Status: Endangered
Height: 30cm
Weight: 1.5kg
Location: Banks Peninsula and Motunau Island
Feathers: Indigo to grey with white markings on each flipper
Beak: black

The White-flippered Penguin (Eudyptula albosignata albosignata) is a small penguin about 30 cm tall and weighing 1.5 kg. It gains its name from the white markings on its flippers, unique to the subspecies. It nests only on Banks Peninsula and Motunau Island, near Canterbury, New Zealand, and is considered to be endangered with only around 3,750 breeding pairs.

It is often considered to be a color morph or subspecies of the Little Penguin (E. minor). Recent mtDNA analyses (Banks et al., 2002) suggest that New Zealand's North Island and the Chatham Island Little Penguins form a distinct species - of which the White-flippered Penguin is probably a subspecies - to the exclusion of western South Island and Australian birds (Banks et al., 2002). As the White-flippered birds were the first taxon of the northeastern species to be scientifically named, pending further resolution of the systematics of Eudyptula, the species name albosignata is used here.


  • Banks, Jonathan C.; Mitchell, Anthony D.; Waas, Joseph R. & Paterson, Adrian M. (2002): An unexpected pattern of molecular divergence within the blue penguin (Eudyptula minor) complex. Notornis 49(1): 29–38. PDF fulltext title= White-Flippered Little (Blue) Penguin |publisher = Photovolcanica| author = Roscoe, R|accessdaymonth = 13 April|accessyear = 2008}}