EAZA Ex Situ Programme

Rockhopper penguin

(Eudyptes moseleyi and Eudyptes chrysocome)

 Sabine Früwirth

Institution: Tiergarten Schönbrunn

EAZA Member Area


1200px Logo Tiergarten Schoenbrunn.svg

IUCN Red List status


IUCN Red List EN


Programme roles

The programme manages two species: the northern and southern rockhopper penguin.

Direct Conservation icon  Insurance
This role contemplates the possibility of maintaining a long-term ex situ Northern Rockhopper population to preserve options for the future (as it seems to be the only viable ex situ population). It is necessary to solve the high infertility rate of the eggs to fulfil this role so that the ex situ population can increase.
Indirect Conservation icon  Education
The EEP will be used to convey messages on the general threats to penguin. Penguins are important flagship species for a healthy ocean ecosystem and can contribute to increasing public awareness of the status of penguins (10 out of 18 penguin species is declining) to highlight the need to conserve penguins in the wild and to protect their natural habitat. This should ideally be done in a proactive way, with a focus on personal behaviour change: how to behave as a tourist to penguin habitats, as a consumer, the impact of plastic, etc.

This role would be to fundraise for other more threatened penguin species, so conservation initiatives such as artifical nests, beach cleans, etc can be financially supported. The TAG has several conservation projects identified but needs to determine which project(s) would be prioritized.

The aim of this role is to solve the taxonomic unclarities of this species.Disaster response plan, led by SANCCOB and the Tristan da Cunha government: This role is focused on acting in case a natural disaster occurs in the habitat of the Northern rockhopper. SANCCOB has a lot of experience reacting to oil spills and can react faster than other international organisations due to its geographical location.
Non Conservation icon  Exhibit
As a very attractive species for the public, the species is thought to have high exhibit value for the EAZA community.

Programme partners



Programme numbers

In July 2022, the Rockhopper EEP had 223 animals in 15 institutions.


Programme highlights