Endangered NZ penguin commemorated on coin

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The beauty of one of New Zealand's rarest penguins, the Fiorland Crested Penguin, has been captured on a New Zealand $5 coin minted by the Royal Australian Mint in Canberra.

The Fiordland Crested Penguin (Eudyptes Pachyrynchus) is one of New Zealand's most endangered penguins with an estimated world population of 1 500 pairs. It is also the most timid standing an average 40 centimetres high and weighing approximately four kilograms.

This endangered species has a bright yellow crest that starts at the base of the bill, extends over the eye and droops down the back of the head. Fiordland Crested Penguins breed only in New Zealand, typically on the coastline of the Fiordland (the South-West New Zealand World Heritage Area), and in the far South on Stewart Island.

Minted on behalf of New Zealand Post and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand the Fiordland Crested Penguin is featured on the silver New Zealand $5 coin with a proof or uncirculated finish.

Dr Vivienne Thom, the Controller of the Mint said 'This silver $5 coin forms part of the New Zealand 2005 seven coin year set along with the standard New Zealand circulating currency. The Australian and New Zealand public have the opportunity to own and enjoy this wonderful coin showing off this beautiful endangered penguin."

This set is the result of a very successful collaboration between the Royal Australian Mint, the New Zealand Post and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

Orders for the silver New Zealand $5 coin and the New Zealand 2005 coin year sets can be placed by contacting the Royal Australian Mint on 1300 652 020 or order online at www.ramint.gov.au