Megadyptes antipodes breeds in New Zealand on the South Island's south-east coast (470 pairs), Foveaux Strait and Stewart Islands (220-400 pairs in 1994, dropping to 178 pairs in 1999-200115), Auckland Islands (520-570 pairs) and Campbell Islands (405 pairs)16. Two severe mortality events in 1986 and 1990 each halved the number of South Island pairs and in 2004 50% of chicks in South Island were killed by diptheritic stomatisis16. However, numbers have recovered to 1980 levels16. The Catlins population (south-east coast of South Island) may have declined by 75% since the 1940s2,9. Numbers of individuals on Campbell Island declined between 1987 and 199810. Adults are sedentary, but juveniles disperse north as far as the Cook Strait3. It was previously thought to have a historic range reaching the northern end of the South Island, however a recent paper revealed this to be a distinct species19.
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