The gentoo penguin breeds on many sub-Antarctic islands, with the main colonies found on the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Kerguelen Islands. Smaller populations of the gentoo penguin are also found on Macquarie Island, Heard Islands, South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. The total breeding population of the gentoo penguin is estimated to be over 300,000 pairs.
The gentoo penguin is a carnivorous animal, that like all other penguin species, survives on a diet that is only comprised of marine animals. Krill and small crustaceans make up the bulk of the gentoo penguin's diet along with larger organisms including squid and various species of fish.
Due to the fact that they inhabit quite uncompromising regions, gentoo penguins have no natural land-based predators. However, larger marine animals that also inhabit the freezing waters of the Antarctic Ocean will prey on these water-based birds, with leopard seals, sharks, humans and killer whales being the main predators of the gentoo penguin.
On average, the gentoo penguin breeds once a year, forming pairs that usually remain faithful to one another. The female gentoo penguin lays two eggs which are incubated by both parents for just over a month months, when only one of the eggs will usually hatch. The gentoo penguin chicks are fed and kept warm by their parents and remain with them until the chicks are around three months old.
Today, the gentoo penguin is a near threatened animal as they are easily affected by changes in the water, both pollution and temperature. Gentoo penguin populations in some areas have also been depleted through human hunting.