The yellow-eyed penguin (Megadyptes antipodes) on the South Island of New Zealand was believed to have suffered a population decline that continued into the 1980s. Unpublished census results from L. Richdale (1930s-1950s) and S. Sharpe (1950s-1960s) for Otago Peninsula show that there were only 44 nests in 1940, but the number increascd in the 1940s-1960s. Numbers peaked at 276 nests in the mid-1980s. Subsequent decreases and a crash to 79 nests in 1990 led to concerns for the viability of the population, but years of good survival and breeding allowed a recovery. The fluctuations were probably drivcn by interplays of human impacts and environmental variation. Reservation of breeding areas, revegetation, and predator control have reduced the deleterious human impacts and given the species a chance to increase numbers and withstand adverse fluctuations in the cnvironment.