Penguins, Predators and Prey is a series of stamp issues by Falkland post featuring, in turn, each of the familiar Falkland penguins, together with some of their respective predators and prey.
This issue features the Rockhopper Penguin and includes one predatory species, the Johnny Rook, and one prey species, the Lobster Krill.
30p Johnny Rook Phalcoboenus australis: the "Johnny Rook" (proper name Striated Caracara) is a coastal predator and scavenger. The greater part of the world's population resides permanently in the Falklands. There are probably in excess of 1000 pairs island-wide. Most of the birds live on offshore islands or on West Falkland. There are also a few other populations, mainly on islands, in the regions to the south and south-west of Tierra del Fuego. Their nest is generally made of sticks and grass and situated in tussac, on shallow cliffs, or under a slab of rock. Between late October and early November, they lay 2-4, creamy-coloured eggs blotched with brick red. They can be very aggressive and noisome when guarding young in the nest.
75p Rockhopper Penguins Eudyptes chrysocome chrysocome performing "mutual" display
Southern Rockhoppers usually breed in cliff top colonies situated close to and above a traditional rocky landing beach. Colonies can be comprised of tens of thousands of birds and are often mixed in with those of shags and albatross. Individuals may have to walk up to a quarter mile to reach their own nest site. Rock-hoppers lay 2 eggs but, on average, rear only one chick. Their breeding season extends between October and March.
£1 Rockhopper Penguin Eudyptes chrysocome chrysocome: Rockhoppers are deep ocean seabirds which return to land only to breed and to moult. Between April and early October they live an entirely pelagic existence. They are able to dive in excess of 150 metres in pursuit of their prey which consists mainly of krill and lobster krill. Typically, however, their dives are much shallower and the average depth is closer to 50 metres.
£1.20 Lobster Krill Munida gregaria: Lobster Krill is one of many crustaceans commonly referred to as squat lobsters which are among the most abundant and diverse ten-legged marine “decapods” worldwide. It is very abundant in coastal waters around the Falkland Islands and southern South America, and also off eastern New Zealand and its sub-Antarctic islands. This small reddish crab has a total length up to 76mm. The males are slightly larger than the females.