Some authorities consider the White-flippered Penguin to be a color morph (genetic mutation) or subspecies of the Little Penguin.
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 likely a subspecies (Banks et al., 2002).
This small penguin is about 12 inches (30 cm) tall and weighs about 3.3 lbs (1.5 kg),
It got its namefrom the white markings on its flippers.
This species is considered endangered with only around 3,750 surviving breeding pairs.
Photo Sources and Relevant Information:
Canterbury’s unique white-flippered penguins may become a drawcard for eco-tourists and local visitors.
You can help Canterbury penguins – Dept. of Conservation – New Zealand Birds