Does Alaska Have Penguins? Everything To Know About Penguins

Does Alaska Have Penguins

Is there anyone in the world who does not love penguins? These animals have a cute appearance and human-like galt that makes everyone love them. Since most people love Alaska, they believe that there are penguins there. It would be everyone’s wish for penguins to be in every country. However, that cannot happen. Therefore the question is, are there penguins in Alaska?

Does Alaska Have Penguins?

The answer to this question that most people ask is, unfortunately, no. Despite many people finding this answer heartbreaking, it is hard to find penguins in Alaska. You might wonder why Alaska does not have penguins, yet it has cold environmental conditions favorable for penguins.

Reasons Why Alaska Does Not Have Penguins

Despite Alaska having cold environmental conditions that favor the existence of penguins, there are still no penguins there. Specific reasons contribute to that. The reasons why there are no penguins in the great state of Alaska include.

The Geographical Location

The location of Alaska is in the Arctic region, the opposite side of the Antarctica region. However, almost all the penguin’s species live in the Antarctica region. You can find only one penguins species above the equator, and that is the Galapagos penguins.

Not even these species are in Alaska. There can be found on the coasts of Africa and some parts of mainland South America. Therefore, penguins cannot settle in Alaska because of its location, which is the northern hemisphere.

Presence Of Predators

The geographical location is among the reason why you cannot find penguins in Alaska. Another reason is the availability of natural predators in the state of Alaska. The most common predator is the polar bear. Unlike the penguins, polar bears are in the arctic region where Alaska falls.

Having penguins in Alaska will cause the extinction of penguins. The polar bear is a large land carnivore weighing up to seven hundred kilograms. The bears will therefore snack on the penguins making their numbers plunge in a short period. Therefore penguins cannot survive in the state of Alaska.

The Adaptation

The Antarctic region is where it best suits the settlement of penguins. Since penguins are aquatic birds, they have adapted to areas of cold conditions. You can find some species located near the equator. However, these species struggle to survive there, and a good example is the Galapagos penguins on the coast of Africa.

Moreover, penguins have a massive weight. Therefore it is hard for them to migrate from one cold area to another. Their heavyweight makes them hard to move quickly.  Therefore it is hard for them to move from the Antarctic region to the arctic region where Alaska falls.

Breeding Environment

Penguins are susceptible birds when it comes to breeding. They need specific conditions to allow them to breed successfully. A good example is the emperor penguins which are the most iconic. For these penguins to breed, they need specific environmental features.

First, they require an area with ample space to breed since they breed in large numbers. Moreover, a fine-tuned temperature is also a necessity for emperor penguins to breed. They also require specific beaches close to an adequate supply of food for raising their hungry chicks. Unfortunately, Alaska does not have all these features hence disqualifying it from habiting penguins.

Migration Patterns

When you consider the migration patterns of penguins, it has shown that they have not been to the Arctic region. The Arctic region does not have suitable weather for penguins to thrive.

Moreover, the oceans there are not cold enough for penguins to swim. Therefore it makes it hard for the penguins to migrate by swimming. In addition, penguins cannot fly. Therefore, there is no means for them to migrate from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere.

Other Places Where You Can Find Penguins And The Right Time To Find Them

You can find the different penguin species in all the continents located in the southern hemisphere. Here are places to find these penguins and the best time of the year to see them.

Australia/New Zealand

Apart from the Antarctica region, penguins also like to habitat places with rocky islands and desert-like environments. Despite their inability to fly, these areas make them less vulnerable to land-based predators. Most people have a perception that Australia is a dry and dusty place.

However, there are penguin species called the fairy penguin that habitats Australia. You can find these penguins at Sydney’s North Harbor, Tasmania, Victoria, and many other nearby islands, including the Penguin island.

In New Zealand, you will find a penguin species called the little blue penguins. The little blue penguins are the smallest penguin species.  You will also find the yellow-eyed penguins, Fiordland penguins, and the Snares penguins.

When To See Them

Temperatures at the Southern Coats of New Zealand’s South Island can go as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit. The coldest month here is in July, while the warmest is January and February. If you want to visit the place and see the penguins, go in January or February.

Argentina/ Chile

There are four types of penguin species that inhabitant the southernmost countries in South America. The four species include the Humboldt, Magellanic, the Southern Rockhopper, and the king.

The Humboldt penguins

Another name for these beautiful creatures is the Peruvian penguins. You will find these penguins on the continent’s west side from Chile to the coast of Peru. Their name came from the cold water current they swim in. There share a close range of features with the Magellanic penguins. They have a white border running from behind their eyes and around their ear-coverts and then joins at the throat.

The Magellanic penguins

Magellanic penguins occupy a large area extending from southern Chile and Argentina to Falklands and Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. An excellent place to see them is in the water, swimming in flocks where they feed on cuttlefish, squid, and krill by diving up to fifty meters into the water.

The southern rockhopper penguins

There are two rockhopper subspecies, namely the southern rockhopper and their cousin, the Eastern rockhopper. You can find them on islands off the coast of Argentina and Chile. In addition, you can find the Eastern rockhopper in Auckland, Campbell, Crozet, Prince Edward, and Macquarie.

The king penguin

You will most likely find the king penguin at the sub-Antarctic islands. However, you can also see them in Tierra del Fuego. In Tierra del Fuego, the king penguins have their protected sanctuary called the Pinguino Rey Park.

When To See Them

The most suitable time to see the penguins is in December through March, when it is summer in Argentina and Chile. During the days, it is mostly sunny, and you will experience occasional strong winds. When planning your trip, you should keep in mind that the temperatures can drop to freezing points at night.

South Africa

Have you ever thought of South Africa as a home of penguins? When most people think of South Africa, what comes to mind is Nelson Mandela, Big five wildlife safaris, and the scenic wine country in Cape Town. However, South Africa Coastlines also is a habitat for African penguins.

The African penguins cover a large area extending around the Southern coast from Algoa Bay up to Northern Namibia. The best place where you can see them is at the Boulders beach which is near Simon Town. You can find yourself swimming with the penguins there.

Unfortunately, these types of penguins are slowly becoming extinct. They get subjected to exploitation and oil spills which endanger them. Moreover, their favorite prey, the anchovy and the sardines, are reducing in number. They have reduced from 1.5 million in the early 20th century to 50000 today.

When To See Them

The good thing about South Africa is that their weather is suitable for visiting the place no matter the time. It would be best to visit the place in February when it is the hottest.

Have Penguins Ever Inhabited Alaska Before?

Yes, there have been penguins in Alaska before. In the 1980s, Alaska was known to have penguins. You would find penguins in the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage. However, the adventure came to an end when the penguins started dying. After some time, there were no penguins in Alaska.

What Made The Penguins To Die In Alaska Making Alaska Not To Have Any Penguins?

The penguins in the zoo attracted tourists to come and see them. After some time, the tourists started throwing coins at the penguins. When they threw coins at the penguins, the penguins ate them and started dying. Since then, there have not been any penguins in the zoo.


Despite many people wanting to find penguins in Alaska, it is not possible due to several reasons. The lack of favorable conditions, the migration pattern, and adaptation made it impossible to find penguins in Alaska. However, you can visit other places like Argentina, South Africa, and New Zealand to find some species of penguins. Once there were penguins in the Alaska zoo, but they are no longer there after the coin incidence.