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Magellanic Penguins, Falkland Islands

Magellanic penguins on Carcassis Island. Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) are only found around the Falkland Islands and South America, but they are extremely numerous within these regions. The Falklands has a population well in excess of 100,000 breeding pairs, but this is small compared to populations in South America, which number around 900,000 breeding pairs in Argentina (Centro Nacional Patagónico) and 800,000 pairs in Chile (Environmental Research Unit). Breeding colonies range from the Golfo San Matías in Argentina, southwards around the islands of Tierra del Fuego, and northwards up the Pacific coast of Chile as far as Puerto Montt. The Magellanic penguin is around 70cm long, and has an average weight of about 4kg. The head and upper parts are black apart from two broad white stripes beneath the throat; one running up behind the cheeks and above the eye to join the pinkish gape, the second running adjacent to the white underparts with which they merge above the legs. Females are slightly smaller than the males, but have similar plumage.

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