PROTECTION STATUS: Humboldt, yellow-eyed, white-flippered, Fiordland crested and erect-crested penguins listed as threatened in August 2010; African penguin listed as endangered in September 2010; New Zealand and Australia southern rockhopperrs listed as threatened in February 2011

PETITIONED: 2006, for 12 penguin species

RANGE: Penguin species covered by our scientific petition range from emperors in the Antarctic, to rockhopper and macaroni penguins at the tip of South America, to the Humboldt penguin along the coasts of Chile and Peru; and from the African penguin on South Africa's lower coast to eight species in New Zealand.

THREATS: Global warming exacerbates additional unique and specific threats to the 12 species in our petition — ranging from introduced predators, disease, habitat destruction, breeding colony disturbance, and even egg harvest, to oil spills, ocean pollution, depletion of prey by industrial fisheries, and entanglement in deadly fishing gear.

POPULATION TREND: All of the petitioned-for penguin species have shown dramatic declines in the 20th century, with many of them suffering 50 percent or greater declines in just the last 20 to 30 years. Global warming has already been linked to population declines in numerous species, including the more than 50-percent decline in Pointe Geologie's emperor penguin colony, of March of the Penguins fame.

Photo by Michael Van Woert, NOAA