The Waitaha penguin was discovered through an ancient DNA study assessing variability in genetics, recognizing that the origin of megadyptes were subantarctic aids in understanding why antipodes are actually vulnerable to warm temperatures. Climate change, specifically sea surface temperature is causing a large impact on the survival of the Megadyptes, an influential factor for both adult birds and fledglings. Through a population model it was discovered that about 33% of variation in population numbers could be linked to the increasing sea surface temperature.
Penguins feathers purpose are to create a barrier to better tolerate wind and water. These certain penguins are known for their feathers and often many of them end up in rehabilitation centers in New Zealand animal hospitals to help rehabilitate their feather waterproofing as most are dependent on waterproof plumage for survival (Setiawan, 2009). Due to the stress of their environment and the populated areas, more Magadyptes are losing their feathers and unable to produce more which would help their endangerment level decrease.
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- name="Climate Change Impact"Mattern, T; Meyer, S; Ellenberg, U; Houston, D M.; Darby, J T.; Young, M; Seddon, P J. (2017). "Quantifying climate change impacts emphasises the importance of managing regional threats in the endangered Yellow-eyed penguin". PeerJ. 5: e3272. doi:10.7717/peerj.3272. PMC 5436559. PMID 28533952.
- Webster, Rebecca K. E.; Aguilar, Roberto F.; Argandona-Gonzalez, Anna-Karina; Conayne, Pauline; De Sousa, Deneka; Sriram, Aditi; Svensson, Carina M.; Gartrell, Brett D. (2016). "Forced Molt in Four Juvenile Yellow-Eyed Penguins (Megadyptes Antipodes)". Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 52 (4): 809–816. doi:10.7589/2015-11-305. PMID 27505039. S2CID 46877731.
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